Austin Witt
Stamps Family Charitable Foundation Forty Acres Scholarship
Forty Acres Scholars Class of 2022
Hometown
Mineola, TX
High School
Mineola High School

My schooling has always been interleaved with a method of instruction which does not suit a typical classroom: mentorship. Growing up the son of a camp director, I have not once suffered a shortage of seasoned, high-minded role models from whom I can solicit counsel. The older I get, the more often it is that I can be located at a diner questioning one of my mentors about subjects ranging from “the role of a son” to “the contents of a proper sympathy note.” These insightful interactions were formative in my desire to pursue the field of psychology. From them, I realized that everyone needs a source of experienced, trustworthy consultation. However, when I look to many of my peers, it becomes disturbingly apparent that many people do not have that relationship naturally embedded in their life the way that I did. To that end, my goal over the next four years at The University of Texas at Austin is to start equipping myself with the tools necessary to reciprocate the mentorship first extended to me. I have been furnished with a sizable inventory of wisdom one-liners that help me get through the day, but I look forward to allowing a scientific perspective to reshape and grow my understanding of human behavior. A degree in psychology may lead me to a PhD and career in clinical counseling, or it may only commence a lifelong inner battle to refrain from referencing “articles I read” when my friends open up about their problems. The result of this expedition is yet to be determined. I’m just thankful I get to continue asking questions in a city like Austin.

Major:

Psychology 

Other Academic Interests:

Philosophy, Theology, Nutrition

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program?

Study for the degree, pay off the debt. Growing up in a small town, approaching my future with a narrow mind felt natural, but applying to the Forty Acres Scholars Program charged me with more enterprising, exploratory aspirations. It refined my perception of the “unrealistic,” romantic opportunities of college into a new, feasible cast. For example, this program appraises global engagement as so essential it is individually subsidized. This program assembles cohorts that are diverse in multiple meaningful versions of the word. This program provides an invested network of connections and advisors, which, to me, meant that the large size of the university did not have to deter me from thinking big. Realizing one’s capacity for greater responsibility and burden is one of the best self-reinventions one can undertake. The Forty Acres Scholars Program ensures this for its scholars. I wanted the full ride, and I really wanted the challenge.