“Rocketing Bearkat”
Story and Photo from: Trey Oursler

I was extremely lucky to be chosen as a recipient through The CIRI Foundation to pursue my college education at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. I studied Communications with a minor in English Literature while also participating in sports and school programs.

I graduated in late 2014 and was officially on the hunt for a full-time job. I landed part-time roles with ESPN and the Houston Texans in 2015, trying to break into the professional sports world. In August of 2015, the Houston Rockets called and offered me another part-time position, which I accepted. Flash forward to mid-2016 and I have three part-time jobs and filling out full-times anywhere, while admittedly not being very patient. I was flustered, up to my neck in debt still (even with the grant) and craving a solid opportunity. That didn’t come knocking until two weeks before Hurricane Harvey in 2017, when I received a call from my office. I answered to a voice I hadn’t heard before and after about 15 minutes of conversation, I landed a full-time interview with the Rockets. Two days before Harvey made landfall, I met with Eric Marglous (my future boss), the next day he called me back and let me know that after all the years of waiting, all the studying and stressing, I finally was being hired to a full-time position in the Box Office for the Houston Rockets/Toyota Center as a Ticket Operations Coordinator.

Without The CIRI Foundation, I wouldn’t have finished school or even been close to solidifying myself in the industry and for that, I cannot thank you enough. It was a long road and it will continue to be as I try to knock off all of my college debt I accumulated, but I will appreciate The CIRI Foundation for keeping the dream alive!