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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
News Release
Tuesday, August 16, 2011

HOUSTON RODEO ENDS 2011 SCHOLARSHIP SEASON WITH $9 MILLION TO TEXAS YOUTH, PREPARES FOR 2012


HOUSTON —
Each year, nearly 2,000 students attend Texas colleges and universities thanks to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™, and the fall semester will see more than 560 new students as part of that group, with nearly $9 million in scholarships.

“Providing students with a financial aid outlet is more important than ever with the cost of education on the rise,” said R.H. “Steve” Stevens, Show chairman of the board. “We are extremely proud to be able to support thousands of college students every year.”

With the new school year fast approaching, parents and students alike should start looking into the opportunities for financial assistance through the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Although the Show promotes agriculture and Western heritage, Show scholarships are for students from any background and with any choice of college major — no agriculture required. Students with majors ranging from accounting to biomedical science, and criminal justice to education, are currently pursuing their dreams on a Show scholarship.

“This scholarship is going to help me out a lot,” said Erica Molson, 2011 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Metropolitan Scholarship recipient. “My mom raised me alone — as a single parent — and my brother is disabled. I want to go to medical school after college, and [the scholarship] is a lot of money.”

The Show’s Metropolitan, Opportunity and School Art Scholarship Banquet, held in May, is one of the largest scholarship events in Houston, and this year, more than 300 students were awarded four-year, $16,000 scholarships.

“This scholarship means ‘commitment’ to me,” said Pedro Barcenas, 2011 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Opportunity Scholarship recipient. “I want to be committed to receiving this scholarship, and to my future. Also, it is a commitment to my education. I have the most sincere gratitude toward [the Show]. A lot of people put hard work into this, and I really appreciate it.”

Also during the summer months, Show officials handed out more than $2 million to students in FCCLA, Texas 4-H and Texas FFA. In February, the Show’s 60 Area Go Texan counties also received $16,000 scholarships for 70 graduating high school seniors outside the Houston Metro, for an additional total of $1,120,000.

“Show volunteers, staff, patrons and supporters drive our success each year – and that success translates into tremendous support for Texas students,” said Skip Wagner, Show president.  “The first step for graduating high school seniors is to begin the college application process.

“Although our scholarship applications are available starting in mid-November, we want to encourage parents and students to start preparing for college now. There are so many steps and requirements to think about with any scholarship application, and we know that early planning puts you ahead of the game.”

In order to receive a Show scholarship, applicants must first meet Show requirements. Those applying for any of the Show’s scholarships must:

·         Be a graduating high school senior.

·         Be a citizen of the United States and a Texas resident.

·         Completely fill out and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. (www.fafsa.gov)

·         Plan to attend college in the state of Texas.

·         Not have other financial aid (total) exceeding $75,000.

·         Submit a full application by the deadline.

With multiple scholarship programs available, parents and students should visit the Show’s website, www.rodeohouston.com, to review the complete list of requirements for each program.

“Again, don’t wait until you’re trying to apply to colleges and getting ready for graduation to start filling out the FAFSA form, writing essays, and the multiple things everyone has to do to apply for any scholarship,” Wagner said.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a Section 501(c)(3) charity that benefits youth, supports education, and facilitates better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. Since its beginning in 1932, the Show has committed more than $265 million to the youth of Texas. The 2012 Show runs Feb. 28 through March 18. For tickets and more information, visit
www.rodeohouston.com.



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