TILF Success Stories: Meet Lorri Ann Drazan
Posted by Trudy Richards on 03/03/2016
Arguably the most important aspect of any athletic event is the mascot. While the players, coaches, and the game may capture the interests of spectators, mascots are the ones who capture the hearts and spirits of all in attendance. For Lorri Ann Drazan, the chance to represent Texas State University by working as the mascot, Boko the Bobcat, was one full of opportunity and inspiration.
“I was a part of the mascot squad for the past two years, traveling to athletic events and competing in USA Collegiate Nationals,” she said.
Now a senior pursuing a degree in Business Management with a concentration in Human Resources, Lorri Ann has served as the mascot for Texas State, is a member of the business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma, volunteers for Mission San Marcos, and has worked as a mascot instructor for the Universal Cheerleader’s Association’s summer camps. In addition to these crowning achievements, she is also the recipient of the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation Scholarship through TILF.
During her two years as the mascot for Texas State, Lorri Ann attended dozens of functions from athletic competitions to community service events.
“A fond memory I have of giving back was actually during my time as Boko the Bobcat. As the official mascot I had a lot of community service events I attended. One in particular was a camp to encourage fostered youth to pursue a college degree. At the end of the day a boy came up to me (aka Boko) and told me that he had had “the bombest day of [his] life!” I then realized that community service isn’t trivial work—it actually has an impact on people,” she said.
“I’ve learned that at any point in my life I should volunteer or give back to the community in some way. Whether you volunteer time or donate supplies, there is always a way to support the communities we live in.”
After searching for a way to help her community, she learned about Mission San Marcos through a friend who encouraged her to get involved. Mission San Marcos is “a non-profit organization ‘dedicated to improving the future of San Marcos by fostering enduring relationships between local families and advocating for opportunity for all young people’” said Lorri Ann.
“Mission San Marcos realizes that poverty is a cycle and that by working with the youth of the community together we can end the cycle. They also bring awareness to parts of San Marcos that are unaware of the high poverty levels,” she said.
Since joining, Lorri Ann has served as a volunteer working with students from Travis Elementary School, acting as a leader to cultivate “bonds with the children through games, bible lessons, and group activities,” while helping the children grow to be more confident.
As a senior volunteer, she now has the chance to work as a mentor to a student. “Another exciting opportunity that I am looking forward to is the opportunity to be a one-on-one mentor with a child from the community. Once I am paired with a child we will meet weekly at his/her school where I can hopefully become a positive influence in his/her life,” Lorri Ann said. Her commitment to the community and children will follow her into a successful future, as she plans to pursue law school with the goal of earning her Juris Doctor degree. Lorri Ann wants to “have a career in which [she] can be financially stable, yet have enough work/life balance to still be involved in whatever community [she lives] in.”
As she plans to graduate in May of this year, Lorri Ann looks back at her years competing in UIL Informative Extemporaneous Speaking alongside Current Events and Issues with more appreciation than ever.
“My involvement in UIL has benefitted me in my undergraduate studies more than I would have ever thought. Without competing in informative speaking I would have never gained valuable public speaking experience. Now in my business classes I am confident about class presentations, because I know I have the communication skills necessary,” she said.
Lorri Ann began competing in UIL events while in junior high, going on to advance to the state tournament her sophomore, junior, and senior years.
Through competing in UIL, Lorri Ann came to the realization that “learning doesn’t stop when you leave the classroom. My participation in current events, in particular, showed me that knowledge doesn’t always come from a textbook.” She has applied this idea to her own life, in addition to being involved in helping her community, by learning about running a business from her father.
“My dad has been a small business owner for over 30 years and growing up I saw the benefits of having an entrepreneurial mindset. I was always curious about the running of his business, so it was an easy decision to pursue a business degree,” she said.
Since being awarded the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation Scholarship through TILF, Lorri Ann has witnessed a tangible return for her dedication to UIL. “Being a TILF scholar I hold myself to a higher standard when it comes to academic success,” she said. Though Lorri Ann is accomplished, being awarded the scholarship gave her an affirmation of her potential as a student. “I applied because I was encouraged to by my UIL advisor. She told me she was confident that I would be a strong candidate. For her the news came as no surprise, but to me the news was delightfully unanticipated,” she said.
Lorri Ann hopes to pass along her passion for hard work and giving back. When asked what advice she could offer for those wanting to make a difference, she encouraged others to not be afraid to go out and get the ball rolling.
“Just do it! Whatever you choose to do doesn’t matter, it only matters that you do something.”
Written by Katarina Antolovic