Mia Li Rodriguez
Stan L. McLelland Forty Acres Scholarship
Marilyn Marshall White Enrichment Award
Forty Acres Scholars Class of 2025
Los Fresnos, TX
High School
Los Fresnos High School

Born in Dallas, when I turned seven, my family moved to La Paz, Bolivia. I encountered a radically different but incredible culture that opened my eyes to the potential for community, even across racial and socio-economic groups. La Paz also inspired my love for gastronomy among the open-air markets and meals shared with Bolivian friends.

Then, at 10, I moved to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Within this urban jungle, with its terrible traffic and vibrant people, I had the opportunity to work with single mothers who taught me about generosity and creativity. I learned that in serving others, you find community.

Sophomore year, my family moved to Brownsville, Texas, where I remained for the rest of high school. Here I found opportunities to develop my leadership, in both academics and music, within my school, local church, and small-town region.

Living abroad and in a border town shaped my love for new cultures and understanding of community. It exposed me to realities that motivate my desire to address complex issues around me and find equitable solutions. I know that the Forty Acres will provide the opportunity to continue my global experiences, providing new perspectives and enriching education.

Music; Plan II Honors

Honors Program
Plan II Honors

Other Academic Interests
Jefferson Scholars Program

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program?
Finalist Weekend was virtual for my cohort. However, from the stories and actions of the upperclassman, I saw the potential for an incredibly supportive community of peers within the Forty Acres Scholars Program. Additionally, I am very excited for the opportunities to meet and learn from influential alumni and leading faculty, donors, and university staff. Knowing that upon entering UT I will have access to an amazing network of mentors and people invested in my success at college pushed me towards this program.