Rodeo may mean concerts, carnivals and various fried foods, but for UH student Brenda Melgar, The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo means opportunity.
An artist, she says she never planned to study business, but as her professional plans grew to include the possibility of gallery ownership and her own artistic ventures, the plan seemed practical. Going to college, however, was going to be a challenge.
"My parents are modest people. I'm the first generation to go to college. So it was very, very daunting," she said. "But I sought help."
The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo offers many kinds of scholarships. Brenda was one of just 15 students who benefited from the Rodeo's School Art scholarship. She received $15,000 to attend a four-year institution.
"In high school I had competed in Rodeo art (contests)," she said. "My art teacher told me that they offer scholarships for students. I applied!"
One painting she submitted was called "Serenity" and featured a rugged cowboy huddled against the cold around his mug of hot coffee. Another featured a cowboy relaxing in a bathtub, his hat down low around his face and his revolver still in his hand.
As her business and artistic goals come together, Brenda says her future goals are becoming a little clearer.
"One of those goals would be to open up a bakery that focuses on sculptural cakes and cupcakes. That's one of the milestones I'd like to reach in being successful."
UH and the Livestock Show and Rodeo have been longtimepartners in education. Brenda is quick to add that the Rodeo has done more for her than help secure her future.
"The rodeo is not just people giving you money for school," she said. "It's more of a relationship now. I actually feel connected to the rodeo."
Rodeo scholars are part of what's happening at the University of Houston. I'm Marisa Ramirez.
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