Chessie Reece

Growing up in the diverse community of Euless, Texas and receiving an excellent education through the International Baccalaureate program at
Trinity High School gave me a thirst for a wide array of academic knowledge and knowledge about the world around me. Of particular interest to me is how people interact with and shape the governmental institutions around them, and this has led to a career interest in national security and intelligence. The intelligence community of the United States has been challenged time and again to respond to threats of ever-changing types while remaining accountable to the people, and I want to get in on helping resolve core issues in this field. Tied right into my passion for government and public service is a passion for nonprofit work — specifically volunteering with and interning for nonprofits in order to observe and learn from their management styles. A nonprofit, the YMCA, is actually most responsible for my choice to study government, as in high school I participated in the YMCA’s nationwide Youth and Government program and made some of the best friends and memories of my life, all while debating national and international issues. This program is what first taught me how to articulate and defend what I believe, and showed me that there ARE answers — all debatable — to the world’s most pressing problems. We just have to fight weariness and use education and innovation to find them. While my extracurriculars at UT generally fit right in with my academic and career interests, I am also an avid reader and love being outdoors. I can often be found combining these hobbies in a hammock somewhere near campus. The world is beautiful and I love traveling it, though I will always be a native Texan at heart.

Majors: Plan II Honors; Government

Honors Program: Plan II Honors

Other Academic Interests: Minors: Latin American studies, presidential and military history

Extracurricular Activities: Policy Drafting Chair for the Senate of College Councils, Undergraduate Fellow with the Clements Center for National Security, Next Generation Scholar with the Strauss Center for International Security and Law, former intern at the YMCA Texas Youth and Government program and the Association of Organizations of Mediterranean Businesswomen (AFAEMME) in Barcelona, Spain

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program (FASP)?
Upon looking at the Forty Acres Scholars Program website as a senior in high school, I could immediately tell that being a part of FASP was about so much more than receiving funding. It was evident to me this was not only a group of excellent people with every accolade and promise of future success going for them, but also a tight-knit community of friends who would go to any length to use their extraordinary knowledge and skills to lift each other up, help with any endeavor and work together to achieve what no scholar could do alone. That impression was only amplified upon meeting scholars, hearing their testimonials, and seeing the program’s impact firsthand. As a scholar, I have been proven right again and again. We are so humbled and inspired by each other, and so lucky to have been brought together and empowered by the Forty Acres Scholars Program.

Favorite FASP Memory
Our sophomore year overnight scholar retreat has been my favorite FASP memory thus far. We had all only recently returned to campus for the fall semester of our second year at UT, and upon reconnecting, began sharing what we’d gotten involved in and how we’d grown since freshman year. It was so special to have dedicated time to catch up and hear how everyone had begun to find their own ways at UT.