The State Fair of Texas has awarded scholarships to 12 first-year Mavericks, at the University of Texas at Arlington through its Big Tex Scholarship Program. For many of the recipients, the scholarship represents a life-changing opportunity and a chance to achieve their academic goals.
Joanna Ramirez, a mechanical engineering major, is “accomplishing things I didn’t think were possible.” To her, becoming a Big Tex Scholar was pivotal to attending a four-year university.
“Being selected for the 2023 Big Tex Scholarship means so much to me, knowing that I got the help I needed,” Ramirez said. “It lets me know there are people in my community who believe in me and are willing to invest in my success.”
In honor of Juanita Craft, South Dallas resident and civil rights activist, the Big Tex Scholarship Program awards $6,000 scholarships to seniors from six high schools in the South Dallas and Fair Park areas. Justin Silcox, director of scholarships at UTA, said the partnership with the State Fair helps enable transformative support for deserving first-year students.
“We’re extremely grateful to have this partnership with the State Fair of Texas because of the support they provide to Mavericks,” Silcox said. “These students come to UTA to be successful, and we’re happy to play a role in their achievements and success.”
Taylor Guerrero is a student in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation; her dream has always been to pursue nursing and help her community. Guerrero said the Big Tex Scholarship will help her graduate debt-free.
“The scholarship gave me the opportunity to attend a four-year university and thrive,” Guerrero said. “I have received so much support, and it’s all helping me achieve my goals of becoming a nurse. I’m extremely honored to have been selected as a recipient.”
State Fair of Texas President Mitchell Glieber said the organization is proud to have a partnership to collectively support area scholars.
“This one-of-a-kind partnership supports a key pillar of the Fair’s nonprofit mission: education in Texas,” Glieber said. “The Big Tex Scholarship Program receives hundreds of applications, and among these, a competitive and diverse pool of scholars thrives, with amazing stories that leave us in awe every year. We are excited to see what the future holds for these inspiring Big Tex Scholars, thanks to our partnership with The University of Texas at Arlington. We invite folks to join us this year at the 2023 State Fair of Texas, our largest fundraiser of the year, to support the Fair’s mission of promoting agriculture, education and community involvement.”