Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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AnneLaGrangeDespite coming from a long line of Aggies, Sharyland Pioneer High School graduate Anne La Grange is breaking tradition and attending The University of Texas at Austin this fall.

“I knew in college, I wanted to study business and that UT has such a good business school but I always thought ‘No, I’m not going to go to UT,” she said. “My parents were graduates of Texas A&M and [I thought I would be too]. At least that’s what I thought.”

La Grange, who was ranked number nine in her graduating class, decided to apply to UT anyway and was accepted into it as well as Texas A&M. She ultimately decided to attend UT and major in Business Honors and Finance.

“At first I thought I’d wait on UT to see if I would get into their honors program and received a scholarship,” she said. “So I was setting up boundaries to not go there,” but I knew I was going to end up at UT.”

The Mission native will be attending UT with the help of the 40 Acres Scholarship, a full-ride scholarship given to a select few who will be attending UT. According to La Grange, she was one of 21 recipients of the scholarship out of the 6,400 students who applied from around the country.

The scholarship is given to students who excel academically, distinguish themselves in high school through leadership roles, extracurricular activities and community service and possess strong communication skills, according to the scholarship website.

“I’m really excited, I got to meet the other scholars and they’re all so motivational and inspiring in every way,” La Grange said of the scholarship. “Everyone seems so nice and open, it’ll be a new sensation for me. I can’t put into words how excited I am.”

As a student at Pioneer, La Grange served as president of the Business Professionals of America team, treasurer of National Honor Society, Spanish Club president and worked as a youth tennis coach at Rio Grande Valley Tennis Academy and volunteered at the South Texas Community Tennis Association.

As a tennis player for Pioneer, La Grange has been named district MVP among her other achievements, which included being named most Likely to Succeed, an AP Scholar with Distinction, National Hispanic Scholar, Economics for Leaders Excellence Award, Hough O’Brien Youth Leadership Award, Business Professionals of America National Finalist and Statesman Torch Service Award.

“I surrounded myself with a really good group of people,” La Grange said when asked about her academic success. “I’m a very competitive person and all my friends are as well so it’s always been a lot of friendly competitions in academics, tennis and BPA between us. I feel like everyone around me motivated me to succeed whether they were competing against me so I really tried to do my best.”

La Grange also credits both of her parents, especially her mom, for her achievements. She said she is following in the footsteps of her mom, Angelica La Grange, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch.

“Both of my parents studied business but my mom has always been my role model,” La Grange said. “She played tennis as well so I took after her.”

La Grange said her interest in finance began when she was a little girl and visited her mom’s office every summer and watched her work. This involvement in the world of business and finance led to her taking accounting and personal financing classes at Pioneer that she said defined her interest in the program.

“I definitely think a lot of that interest was me following in my mom’s footsteps,” she said. “And now I am studying the same thing she did but at UT.”

At first, La Grange was worried how her parents would handle her decision to attend UT, she said. However, that concern ended up in excitement.”

“My parents were ecstatic and supportive of my choice,” La Grange said. “We just had my graduation party and the entire place was decorated in Longhorns. I never thought they’d ever put up Longhorn decorations in the house but everyone was so happy, and I saw my dad wear Longhorn colors. I never thought I’d see that sight. I turned them.”

For the summer, La Grange said she and her family are taking it easy. They are planning a trip to Peru next month before La Grange leaves to UT in August to attend orientation.

“I’m really excited to meet new people and really branch out.,” La Grange said. “Austin is a diverse city with a diverse culture from people all over the world so I’m excited to be in an area outside my comfort zone. I’ve never lived somewhere else, I will surround myself with a new community and that makes me so excited.”