Lauren Smith
Mike A. Myers Forty Acres Scholarship 
Marilyn Marshall White Enrichment Award
Forty Acres Scholars Class of 2020
Houston, TX
High School
Saint John's School

The bond between connection and culture has always been a strong driving force of mine. I grew up dancing at Kuumba House South African Dance Theatre, a performance based program where I got to walk in festivals, play drums, and travel to events around the world. Through Kuumba, I discovered just how incredible it is to explore culture, connect with others, and dance through life. I continued dancing in high school as varsity cheer captain, and creating roots in cultural education as chair of African American Affinity group. I served on Unity Council, an effort to expand the knowledge of and affirm the many ethnic, racial, gender, & sexuality based groups on campus. Through Unity Council, I helped develop a lesson plan that taught ninth grade students the importance of acceptance and equity in the classroom. I chose to major in public relations at The University of Texas due to my belief that human connection is the be all and end all of society, and of life. I think it is important to remember our relation to one another is an intricate, valuable, and pertinent part of our paths. At The University of Texas, I serve as historian and social media chair for Texas Infinites, a co-ed spirit group, I volunteer with UT Events+ Entertainment, and I still move and shake my way through life with the help of Longhorn Dance Club.

Public Relations

Extracurricular Activities
Texas Infinites, Historian & Social Media Chair UT Events and Entertainment; Headliners Volunteer Longhorn Dance Club Member UT Student Activity Center, Event Host

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program (FASP)?
One pinnacle of the Forty Acres Scholars Program is access. Forty Acres Scholars receive many opportunities each year to visit with one of the largest alumni networks in the world, the Texas Exes. Human connection is important to me, and I chose the Forty Acres Scholars Program because the manner and frequency in which it facilitates that connection cannot be rivaled. As a Forty Acres Scholar, I receive the gift of quality relationships with peers, faculty, and alumni that I may have otherwise missed out on. I am grateful to use the Forty Acres Scholars Program as a source of academic assistance, career information, and inspiration every day. From one of my sponsors, Marilyn White, who reaches out to check up on me often, to the alumni who graciously give their time to us at programming events and dinners, FASP members and contributors have allowed me to forge a home here at the Forty Acres in a way I could have never imagined.