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UT for Me – Powered by Dell Scholars: Meet Melany Rodriguez

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Majors: International Relations and Global Studies, and Government with a Business Spanish certificate

Student organizations: First-Generation Living Learning Community, Queer and Trans Student Alliance – Student Government

Melany Rodriguez, a member of the 2020 cohort of UT for Me students originally from Fort Worth, reflects on the community she found on campus and what’s in store after graduation and beyond.

What made you decide to come to The University of Texas at Austin?

I decided on UT because it is the best public university in my home state and I wanted to receive my education from the best in Texas.

How did UT for Me shape your college experience?

What most impacted me about UT for Me was realizing how many of us there are in the program. Seeing others wear their backpacks with the logo or seeing the stickers around campus really showed me how many of us there, and it made me feel a lot less alone when I was struggling; despite facing economic challenges, we still made it this far and put in the work to pursue our dreams.

What surprised you the most about your experience with UT for Me?

I was so surprised about how UT for Me made everything so much more accessible for me. Students have so many expenses already, and not having to worry about the burden of fully paying for my textbooks lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. Also, the fact that we could buy actual supplies at the Co-op meant so much because even affording materials like notebooks seems so trivial, but it’s extra costs I no longer had to worry about paying.

What accomplishment from your time at UT are you most proud of?

My biggest accomplishment will always be seeing my residents thrive as a resident assistant at Dobie Twenty21. Being someone who others can lean on in times of need and then seeing them learn to adapt and overcome on their own brings me so much pride.

What is your favorite memory on campus?

My favorite memories on campus will always be watching the sun set as I walk near the six pack. There’s nothing that compares to the feeling of pride when seeing the sky turn a soft orange behind the Tower.

What are you going to miss the most about UT?

What I’m going to miss the most is the people. The support system I have here is like no other I’ve had before, and it’s going to be hard leaving that here.

What are your plans after you graduate?

I am taking a gap year to study for the LSAT and participate in an internship, and then I plan to start law school in fall of 2025.

What are you looking forward to most after you graduate?

While graduating can be bittersweet, I’m looking forward to starting this new chapter of my life. My lifelong dream has always been to finish college, and now that I’m accomplishing this dream, I can begin searching for a new dream. This isn’t the end, it’s only the beginning.

UT for Me – Powered by Dell Scholars ensures all Longhorns have access to the tools and resources needed for a successful college career. UT for Me provides Pell-eligible Longhorns personalized, multi-faceted support throughout their time at The University of Texas at Austin, helping them stay on track toward their degrees and graduate ready to change the world.