Meet UHD Gator & Rodeo Scholar Ashly Garcia
By Sheryl E. Taylor
Each year, more than 800 scholarships are awarded to Texas students by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ (HSLR). As one of the largest scholarship providers in the nation, the Rodeo has presented more than 20,000 scholarships valued at $260 million since 1957*.
Ashly Garcia is one of this year’s recent recipients.
Before becoming a Texan, Garcia and her family arrived in the Lone Star State from El Salvador when she was eight years old. She went on to attend and graduate from Alief Early College High School in the Alief Independent School District.
When it came time to choose a university to attend, Garcia knew what she wanted and needed.
“I researched colleges to determine the best one that would fit my needs—from affordability and financial aid options to the degree I wanted to pursue for my eventual career to staying in-state to be near my family,” she said. “UHD had it all! Especially the wonderful Marilyn Davies College of Business … it’s such a great school…one of the best in the state. All those factors blended together … it was a win-win!”
With plans to graduate in Summer 2023, the junior finance major is still deciding on her minor.
“It’s between economics or marketing,” the 21-year-old noted. “I love both economics and marketing. Ideally, I want to use my degree in finance to become a financial advisor and eventually start my own firm to educate families through their financial journeys.”
When asked what the HSLR Scholarship meant to her, she ecstatically responded.
“It was a huge confidence booster,” she said smiling. “I’m grateful that I can work and attend school. I work (part-time as a supervisor at a retail store in the Houston Galleria) because I want to, not because I have to, which is great. This scholarship along with my financial aid has lessened my financial burden tremendously. Now, I can focus on my studies.”
Garcia offers words of advice to those who are facing challenges on their educational journey: “Never forget the vision of why you’re doing this for a better future and never forget where you’ve come from.”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.