“The True Value of My Education”
My life is blessed and I know it. As I reflect on my first semester at The University of Texas at Austin, I am grateful for the experiences and education I received at Flower Mound High School that prepared me to be the college student I am today. My FMHS teachers, coaches, counselors and Principal Paul Moon truly were “difference makers” in my life. They made high school challenging and fun. What isn’t fun about doing a “flash mob” as a Senior 2011 prank in the main school hallway, and it gets put on the LISD web site? Moreover, I am fortunate for the wonderful encouragement, preparation and opportunities from Flower Mound High School.
Developing Leadership Skills
My experience with the Flower Mound Student Council helped form my leadership skills. My student council advisors, Mrs. Jennifer Owens and Mrs. Kellye Waller, went above and beyond to encourage StuCo members to make FMHS a better place. The FMHS teachers and staff gave the best encouragement to set goals. These goals were attainable thanks to the positive ambiance.
Preparing for University of Texas at Austin
I’m not going to lie: The University of Texas at Austin is a rigorous school; however, I have felt ready for the class work load since my teachers at Flower Mound High School truly prepared me. My AP teachers, including my AP World Geography teacher, Mr. Kyle Washler, and my AP English teacher Mrs. Dorothy Chegwidden, helped mentor me to be the best I could be through their teaching. I am privileged to have a fostering support system from my high school teachers. To this day, I keep in contact with them. My high school teachers once cared about my grades, and now they care about my future. It’s a gratifying feeling.
In addition, Flower Mound High School gave me wonderful opportunities to grow as an individual. From Student Council to Spanish Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes to Water Polo, there were many clubs, organizations and sports where I easily could get involved. Being involved at Flower Mound High School helped my time management, social skills and leadership abilities. All of these characteristics have aided me down the right path at The University of Texas at Austin.
Lewisville ISD Scholarship
Furthermore, the scholarship I received through the Lewisville ISD Education Foundation has been a huge help. I had no idea college books were so expensive! When I used my scholarship money to buy books, I felt so honored to know that the Kristen Jackson Memorial Scholarship and LEF believed in me.
I have been enjoying myself at The University of Texas at Austin! I love it so much that I only went home for Flower Mound High School’s Homecoming and Thanksgiving during my first semester. I am taking advantage of the resources and organizations at UT. Therefore, I have been quite busy with juggling everything (In the back of my mind, I keep telling myself that it\’s not high school, Rachel…..you can\’t do it all! But, I just can\’t help myself. I love being involved!).
Growth at UT Austin
I am in LOVE with UT Student Government (UTSG). At the beginning of the school year, I applied for a competitive freshmen internship and was selected to be a Longhorn Legislative Aide (LLA). LLA is a program that works hand in hand with the executive, legislative and judicial branch of Student Government. I was chosen to be the intern under the Chief of Staff, Andrew Townsell, and sit on the Student Affairs Committee to record the minutes. Besides that, I do a lot of research for ongoing legislation and get to spend time with great student leaders. I attend weekly UTSG meetings and love how we all sing “The Eyes Of Texas Are Upon You” after every meeting.
In addition, I went though Sorority Rush the week prior to the first day of school. Fortunately, I was given a bid from Zeta Tau Alpha. Ironically, my mom was a Zeta at UT, so I feel as if I am living her college experience! This means my mom is not just my mom, but she\’s my sister! Zeta is a perfect fit for me, and better yet, I have found my closest group of friends through my sorority. Within Zeta, I was recruited by the Zeta President to be on the Slate Committee. The Slate Committee interviews, selects, and establishes the Zeta Executive Board for the upcoming year. The president selected one person from each pledge class (PC) to be their representative; therefore, I am honored to be the only one chosen to be the PC \’11 representative for the Slate Committee. I was also honored with “Best New Member” of my pledge class of 67 sisters. And, I was selected “Sisterhood Chairman;” I start my duties this semester.
I also have been involved academically through the Gateway Scholars Program. I applied and was selected to be a Gateway Scholar. As a Gateway Scholar, the diversity education program has maximized the academic success and social connections for my first year experience. Gateway has allowed me to enroll in smaller class sizes; participate in profession academic advising, peer mentoring and class registration assistance; and attend social, cultural and recreational activities. Gateway has granted me priority registration; thus, “WoooHooo!” no Friday classes for me!
Along with my current involvement, I was recruited to be a Hometown High School Recruitment (HHR) Counselor, which is part of the SHARE (Students Helping Admissions Recruitment Efforts) volunteer program. HHR volunteers meet with prospective students at their high schools over winter break. This past December, I went to FMHS, with two orange UT Austin banners in hand and shared during lunch periods about my experience as a UT student. I also provided information about UT admission and student services. I handed out all 100 of my packets of information! I’d love to see more FMHS grads at UT!
Other than my extra-curricular involvement, I am DEFINITELY studying and having a little bit of fun, of course! I was delighted to learn that my 3.8 GPA earned me the honor of being on the Dean’s List for the College of Communication. All this, thanks to FMHS!
Rachel Robillard, 2011 Graduate of Flower Mound High School