Porras Paniagua, Melissa
Melissa Porras Paniagua
Sylvie and Gary Crum Forty Acres Scholarship
Forty Acres Scholars Class of 2022
Hometown
Spring, TX
High School
Klein Oak High School

Over the past two decades, I have visited 24 different countries, lived in three separate continents, attended 8 different schools, and packed over a dozen moving boxes. It is through my travels and my peripatetic childhood that I've learned that home is not a place-- it's a feeling. My family and I settled into Houston over 12 years ago, but it wasn't until I arrived on the Forty Acres that I truly felt at home. The riveting city of Austin has welcomed me with open arms to be a part of its lively culture, dance to its music scene, and indulge in its mouthwatering eats. And with the University of Texas at the center of this cultural hub, the potential adventures and opportunities are endless. I am humbled to say I am a student in the Canfield Business Honors Program, and a scholar in the Forty Acres Scholars Program, where I am surrounded by some of the brightest minds, the most passionate souls, and intriguing individuals in the country. My journey at UT has only just started, and even though I may not know where exactly this road will take me, I know one thing is true: what starts here changes the world.

Major
Business Honors

Honors Program
Canfield Business Honors

Other Academic Interests
Minor in French Studies; International Relations, History, Literature

Extracurricular Activities
Texas Spirits, Texas Consulting, Undergraduate Business Council

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program? 
Community is defined as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals.” A more concise (and overall better) definition would be the Forty Acres Scholars Program. I was captivated by this program during Finalist Weekend after witnessing the unity that existed among the older scholars. They were all bound together by more than just a scholarship; the program is composed of a diverse group of individuals, each possessing ambition, intelligence and passion. The diversity, curiosity and passion within the group are what have brought the scholars together. They inspire one another. I knew that being a part of the Forty Acres Scholars Program was more than just a check and a title. It meant having a close group of people that you can learn vicariously through, having a support system, having a family. I was initially drawn to this program because of the people that comprise it, and now it is an honor to be a part of it. 

Favorite FASP Memory
Star-gazing until 4am at Camp Buckner freshman year!