Rodeo investment in HCC students prepares next generation of first responders

HCCThe Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) is helping educate the next generation of first responders at Houston Community College (HCC) with a generous gift. At the December meeting of the HCC Board of Trustees, rodeo officials presented the HCC Foundation with a  $146,000 check to support programs at the HCC Public Safety & Automotive Technology Center of Excellence and the expansion of technical programs.

Of that total, $116,000 will support the Public Safety Institute (PSI) for the 2015/2016 academic year.

• $45,000 will be used to purchase equipment for the Law Enforcement Academy.

• $71,000 will support the Emergency Telecommunications Center to provide training to meet industry demand for 911 dispatchers.

“As a result of the contributions, we are seeing a significant difference in the success of our students — in police, fire, and EMS,” said Dr. Margaret Ford Fisher, HCC Northeast College president. “Our students pass the state exams with over 95% pass rate. Our students are being placed in jobs, in many instances before they complete their degrees. So we are truly grateful. You are making a significant difference in the lives of our students.”

Also included in the $146,000 is a $30,000 grant that was used to establish a Technical Education Scholarship to help HCC students earn welding certifications. It is an area Rodeo officials say they want to expand in the future.

“Those technical skills are truly what drives our economy. We realize there is a shortage of skilled labor,” said Joel Cowley, HLSR president and CEO. “We are really excited to get the program up and off the ground.”

Of the students who attend HCC, 66 have received HLSR scholarships totaling $671,000 and since 2009, grants to HCC have totaled $564,000.

“This generous gift from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is an investment in our students and our economy,” said Shawn Taylor, HCC Foundation Board president. “It is timely and very important because this year to date, the HCC Foundation has awarded over $800,000 in scholarships which goes a long way for an education at HCC.”

HLSR Board Chairman Jack Lyons proudly pointed out that the Rodeo recently reached a major milestone in the support of educational pursuits.

“It’s a pleasure for us to be a part of the community to give back to our students and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has given over $400 million in scholarships since 1932,” said Lyons.

Cowley announced that March 1, opening day of the 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, will be “First Responders Day”.

To learn more about the scholarships from the HLSR and others available through the HCC Foundation, visit

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