Who We Are
Founded in 1923, Texas Orange Jackets is traditionally the oldest women’s service organization at UT with a membership of women and non-binary individuals. Held up by our three tenets of service, leadership, and scholarship, we strive to serve our university and the surrounding community, as well as each other and all of the unique initiatives we pursue as individuals. We spend countless hours volunteering at The Settlement Home for Children, our primary philanthropy for over two decades. OJ’s commitment to service is further demonstrated through our year-long initiation process for new members. All new members of Orange Jackets must design and implement a service project before becoming actives and as a part of earning their Orange Jackets vest.
What We’re Fundraising For
Each year, the new Tap Class takes on a Tap Project in order to raise awareness for and improve some aspect of UT’s campus or our community. About a year ago, the Tap Class of 2018 decided to raise awareness of the racial and gendered history of UT, and we are attempting to start a scholarship endowment to recognize and make efforts towards eliminating the barriers to education that are still prevalent within marginalized communities. It will be awarded to a self-identifying woman with financial need, and is the Tap Class of 2018’s way of recognizing the socioeconomic obstacles that prevent students from achieving a college education. We want to acknowledge the injustices inflicted on these communities in the past in order to emphasize an emphatic hope for the future. Our hope is that this scholarship will allow resilient, service-minded incoming freshmen the opportunity to use their education to improve this university and community with their diverse perspectives and tenacity.
Donor’s gifts can impact students in many different ways– through not only financial and material support, but emotional support as well. The added stress of a financial burden can really wear students down over time, negatively impacting everything from their sleep schedule and mental health to their ability to focus in class, the time they can dedicate to student organizations, and their ability to graduate on time. Students who experience a financial burden are disproportionately from minority communities, and we want to use this scholarship to uplift women who otherwise might not be able to go to UT.
We value the individuality of how every gift can help a student in different ways, and wanted to provide an example of a low-income member of Orange Jackets who is currently on scholarship at The University of Texas. Here is her statement of financial burden as a student on the first day of class, which she would not have been able to attend without the generous support of donors. “I wake up and try to get organized for my first day of class! I log into Canvas to check my classes and while doing this I make some coffee and oatmeal ($5). After my morning I realize that I need to go by the co-op to pick up my books for class ($200). My first two classes were awesome! I feel so inspired and motivated as I go to the PCL to eat my packed lunch ($10). My afternoon classes are a hit and my pens, papers, and notebooks ($30) have given me the tools to take notes. I head home and eat dinner ($15), do my homework, and get ready for evening meetings. After this I lie down, feeling grateful to have the financial support to adequately complete all my tasks. Quantifying my experience today, it cost $260.” While some students are lucky enough to rely on financial help from their parents, others have to think about every single dollar they spend. We hope to help students like our fellow member by creating this scholarship endowment. Participating in 40 for 40 and receiving generous contributions from donors and matches from UT will help us achieve this goal.