Mackenzie, Kerry
Kerry Mackenzie
Waltrip/Texas Exes Fort Worth Chapter Forty Acres Scholarship
Forty Acres Scholars Class of 2022
Hometown
Fort Worth, TX
High School
Trinity Valley School

My alarm blares, I pop my mug under my Keurig, and I press play on my daily sequence of news podcasts. It doesn’t matter how early I’m waking up or what I’m doing that day- this has always been my morning routine. I can’t remember exactly when, but somewhere down the line during my daily coffee and news podcast ritual, I became deeply invested in what I heard.

Listening to the news has not only instilled within me interest in and empathy for others, but it compels me to want to rewrite our reality for the better. That’s why I’ve always dreamed of becoming involved in government, spending my life learning people’s stories and using them as the foundation on which to improve my community. This mission guides everything I do- from serving as a representative in Student Government, to working in a Senator’s office, to practically living at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life as a Research Intern and a Texas Civic Ambassador. There is truly no better place for me to continue my journey to become the next Leslie Knope than at Texas’s capital in Austin, attending a school with a thriving culture of political involvement. My freshman year went by way too fast, but I can’t wait to make the most of my remaining time at the University of Texas. Catch me around campus in constant pursuit of coffee at the plethora of trendy coffee shops around campus; checking items off my extensive Austin bucket list with my sorority sisters; and- of course- reading the news!

Majors 
Government; Plan II Honors

Honors Program
Plan II Honors

Other Academic Interests
Public Policy, Literature, Philosophy, Economics

Extracurricular Activities
Research Intern at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life; Texas Civic Ambassador; University Wide Representative in Student Government; Representative to University Panhellenic Council’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee; University Unions Board Member; Intern for Senator Jane Nelson & the Senate Finance Committee; First Amendment Scholar; Longhorn Legislative Aide; Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program?
As a high schooler applying to colleges, I wanted it all. I dreamed of being a part of a diverse, thought provoking student body, but I also craved the fellowship and memories only a tight knit group can provide. I simultaneously desired to roam the globe in search of new experiences and knew I couldn’t go without the culture (or the queso!) of my beloved home state. I wanted a university with first-rate academics, but I didn’t want the price tag or competitive atmosphere that normally comes with such a school. Naturally, this was a hard bill to fit, but the Forty Acres Scholars Program manages to check every box. As a scholar, I have the resources to travel and learn anywhere I wish with the guarantee that I’ll always have a home waiting for me in the Lone Star State. I am afforded access to some of the best professors, caring administrators, and dedicated alumni in the world- free of cost. Most importantly, I get to enjoy a community of genuine, curious students who are passionate about a wide array of topics.