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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Bension

The Southern Showgirl

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

I was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, so for years, whenever I told someone that fact, they'd joke - "So you're a showgirl?" and laugh at themselves. It is amusing, but honestly, it's a bit true. As a public speaker, I have to have some showmanship for my audience. Now being raised in Houston, Texas, I'm also what you would call a Southern Belle, meaning I was raised to be polite to everyone around me and I have manners and compassion always. This month, the Southern Showgirl in me got to participate in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

I received the Houston Rodeo Metropolitan Scholarship as a high school student in 2005, and since that time, I've returned often to speak to Rodeo committees and donors about how they work they do impacts students. This year, for the first time, I joined a committee instead of just speaking at their meetings. I was a member of the Rodeo Wine Sales committee and we had a great time raising money for students. Honestly, I volunteered just because the mission is great and close to my heart, but I also got a chance to have some fun when the work was done!

Volunteering with the Rodeo is great practice for my Public Speaking because there's a wide breadth of people who are there, from millionaires to humble livestock wranglers. I enjoy speaking with donors the most, because a lot of them give money, but don't get to see the result of where their donations truly go. They know they help students, but seeing a face and hearing my story allows them to realize how impactful they really are. I'm grateful to have been a scholarship recipient then and I'm so happy to be able to give back now.

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