Hello, Mr. President: TTUISD Student Elected as International Rodeo Association President

by CAITLIN HOGGE

August 19, 2013

Becoming the President of an international organization is not on many 13-year-olds’ radar; but for TTUISD student, Cullen Eppright, it is his reality. Cullen was recently elected to serve as the President for the National High School Rodeo Association (NHJRA) Junior High Division.

The NRHJA is an international, non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping youth across the nation develop sportsmanship, horsemanship and character through participating in the sport of rodeo. The association is made up of over 10,000 members from 41 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia. The honor of being selected to serve as President is especially impressive because Cullen is the first officer from Texas to serve the NRHJA Junior High Division.

“I became involved in this great organization as soon as I became a sixth grader, as that is the youngest member grade available,” Cullen said. “I had been counting the years until I could become a member, as the Texas state finals are held only a few miles from my home, so I have grown up watching the kids older than me compete for state championships. This will be my third year as a member the NHSRA.”

Cullen has been participating in rodeos since he was five, but having grown up on a ranch, he doesn’t remember a time where he wasn’t on a horse. Taking care of his duties on the ranch, practicing with his coaches and traveling for his rodeo competition are all very time consuming. After learning about TTUISD at a conference in San Antonio and meeting with the elementary school principal, Cullen and his family decided to enroll him in TTUISD’s full-time, diploma seeking program.

“The flexible schedule allowed by the Tech system works well for my rodeo schedule. I can work ahead if I know I have a rodeo or roping coming,” he said.

Even though he is very busy with his rodeo schedule and his newfound responsibilities as President of the NHJRA Junior High division, education still comes fist to Cullen. Working hard and having a good attitude are essential, he said. He fully understands that a good education is invaluable and encourages future TTUISD students to adopt the same outlook.

Cullen’s future is bright. With dreams of attending Texas A&M and becoming a doctor, there is no doubt that his commitment to hard work and dedication will pay off in the future.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing correctly,” Cullen points out. “Also, nothing worth having comes freely, it comes at a price. A good education is priceless and is your number one ticket to success in the world.”


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