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Makayla Hardin

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Finalist

Bio

My name is Makayla Hardin. I'm an undergraduate at the University of North Texas, majoring in event design and experience management with a minor in hospitality management. I am currently a member of the University Program Council, a program designed to make events for the student body, with the free perks of all of the events! As a member of this program, I am also a member of the Special Programs Committee. This committee caters explicitly to making events that are more interactive and have a niche theme to it. I was a 3-year member of the Metamorphosis Mentoring Program, assembled from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc. in Dallas, Texas. This program is designed to influence young girls ( specifically black women ) to be the best versions of themselves while also learning different life skills ( financials, planning, confidence, etc ). Continuing, I was also a five-year member of the AVID program, a program designed to help students build different skills ( ex, reading, collaboration, and inquiry ) to succeed in the future and get a head start to prepare for the future after high school. Through this program, I became an ambassador to promote the AVID program; later on, I became a member of my school's national honor society. Outside these programs, I like creating videos for my YouTube channel, projects from Pinterest inspirations, and new outfits from branching out to different styles. Once I graduate from college, I plan to start an event company to improve my skills, and then I plan to start my own event planning company later on.

Education

University of North Texas

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2027
  • Majors:
    • Hospitality Administration/Management
  • Minors:
    • Hospitality Administration/Management

Northwest High School

High School
2020 - 2023

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Hospitality Administration/Management
    • Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations
    • Film/Video and Photographic Arts
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospitality

    • Dream career goals:

      Event Planner

    • Cashier

      McDonalds
      2021 – 2021
    • Server

      Olive Garden
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Hostess

      Olive Garden
      2021 – Present3 years

    Sports

    Track & Field

    Junior Varsity
    2021 – 20232 years

    Awards

    • Sprinter of The Season

    Artistic Gymnastics

    Club
    2006 – 201711 years

    Awards

    • 10th Place All Around, All Around Champion, 3rd Place Floor, 5th place vault

    Arts

    • HMS Theater

      Acting
      Bye Bye Birdie
      2017 – 2018

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      The Big Event — My role was to give back to the community who has helped make my years in high school the best. I helped clean up yards as well as the local park and gave food to the homeless.
      2022 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Carter Bloodcare — Blood Donor
      2021 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      AVID — Senior Volunteer
      2022 – Present

    Future Interests

    Volunteering

    Entrepreneurship

    Sylvester Taylor "Invictus" Hospitality Scholarship
    When the time came for me to start considering it, I've always thought of going with the business route for college. Up until my sophomore year in high school I always saw myself as someone majoring in entrepreneurship and starting my own business after graduating college…but then came the world of hospitality. I’ve been recognized in the world of hospitality for about three years and throughout this time I’ve learned many life lessons and have had many opportunities to grow in the world of food service and hospitality. With this scholarship, I would not only be able to handle the expenses of college way better but also be able to get some stress off of my parents back. The way they have constantly gone above and beyond to make sure that I get a good education and be able to succeed in the future is something that I want to be able to thank them for. Growing up I always wanted a career that I was able to not only get hands-on with but something that also gives me creative freedom and impacts people for the better. I wanted to see people get joy from not just events planned, but also seeing events come to life as an attendee. With this plan in mind, I decided to major in event design and experience management with a minor in hospitality management at the University Of North Texas. Along with my major, I am also a member of the University Program Council. This program strives to plan out over 100 events during the school year to the student body with the exception that all of the events are free. Along with the main program I am a member of the special programs committee. This committee specifically plans that are more on the niche and miscellaneous side. Some events that we’ve thrown during the school year are BubbleFest ( an event dedicated to bubbles that included boba, soap, and bath samples from Buff City Soap, and making bubble art ) and Frost Along ( an instructor-led event including decorating a cupcake and a sugar cookie for winter ). On the side of planning events, I am also a server at Olive Garden. Having been a server for almost two years I always love seeing happy faces after giving guests a great customer experience and being able to hear the words “We’ll be back again.” Hearing guests and just people, in general, expressing their happiness for their experiences is something I want to bring more of as I continue to dive into the world of hospitality. I’ve been able to grow my collaboration and creative skills throughout my time in this field and I’m excited to continue growing my expertise as I plan to become an event coordinator for U.P.C, but also as a post-graduation job. Overall I want to continue to bring people together with not only my time being a server but also as an aspiring event coordinator.
    1989 (Taylor's Version) Fan Scholarship
    With the official release of 1989 ( Taylor’s Version ) finally coming to life in October 2023, it’s been a journey of reexploring old songs that reminded me of so many different times in my life that I felt the utmost love while also feeling the most thrilled I’ve felt in some time. This album resembles the epitome of what the pop genre is through its talk of New York ( Welcome to New York ) the journey of dealing with scrutiny from society and throwing it back in their faces ( Blank Space and Shake It Off ), and even discussing a time where situations finally got to see the light ( Clean ). Although these are some small examples the big one is What exactly are the songs that say “This song easily represented the year for me!” As much as I would love to say that the entire album has its place in the year the three that resemble my year in one soundtrack would be Wonderland ( Taylor’s Version ), Style ( Taylor’s Version ), and New Romantics ( Taylor’s Version ). While I would love to live in the land of what is the song “Wonderland” I am residing with my life in reality, but when I think of this song I think of chaos and love rolled in one. The song “Wonderland” resembles life in a world that’s completely imaginary from the real world and something that should be lived out in rather than living in the world of actual reality. I like to think that I have a lot of times where I would love to just stay in the world of imagination and not have to face life itself, and rather than facing reality I like to stay in the presence of reality I chase more for that imaginary life of love that holds no one bothering you. Next in line is a personal favorite on my list and that is “Style” ( Taylor’s Version ). Since the time of the original album being out, this song has held a special place in my heart of nostalgia but also just the energy that I feel once I hear this song. Whether that’s hearing “...long hair, slicked back, white t-shirt…good girl faith and a tight little skirt,” ( Swift, 1:25-1:28 ) or just hearing the intro with the guitar startup I just feel at peace for a little bit. This song encapsulates tumultuous times in a relationship but also the feeling of stuff never getting old, that stuff will sometimes continue to stay like this even in its greatest moments. Third in line is a song that just reminds us of how great life is sometimes and how it’s okay to not be serious all the time, this lovely song is “New Romantics” ( Taylor’s Version ). This song just reminds me of times when I’m living for myself and taking life for what it is and essentially just being free. The lyric that sticks with me and resembles my year in one is “And every day is like a battle, but every night with us is like a dream” ( Swift, 0:57-1:03 ). Whenever I hear this lyric it reminds me that although I will face tough times and hardships I can come back from that and still live in a moment of happiness and dreams. Overall, 1989 ( Taylor’s Version ) is an album that defines not only what pop music is but what life can be like if you take a step back and have fun.
    Future Planner Scholarship
    I would describe myself as someone who likes to keep themselves busy but in a creative and organized way. To start I’m an event design and experience management major with a concentration in marketing. I’m a member of the University Program Council ( UPC ), a committee that is in charge of planning the school’s events for no charge to students and that are created by students. While my main part of being in the committee is to work different events throughout the semester ( ex: I’ve worked events such as Oktoberfest, UPCoffeehouse Live which is a concert event during the mornings that includes us having a local artist perform while students have some tea and coffee, the Safetea Party which included overall tips on campus safety, and BooBash which is a trunk or treat event designated for the Denton community children to check out different student organizations but also to celebrate Halloween in an interactive way ), I also take part in participating in the Special Programs Committee. The Special Programs Committee of UPC essentially plans the school events with no specific theme ( ex: Films committee plans our movie nights and the Arts Committee plans our crafting events ). Some events we’ve planned have been different themed bingos such as video games, K-Pop, and Swiftie Singo as well as Bears for Scares which was an event where we had students stuff a stuffed animal and decorate the animals' costumes. I’ve enjoyed being on this committee as the aspect of having no specific theme for our committee opens up our ideas a lot more to planning stuff that doesn’t have to be on brand for our committee. With my participation of being in this program as well as going through my everyday life I want to be able to spread that same joy and fun in my future endeavors. With my journey of becoming an event planner I always try to implement teamwork in some way shape or form. With every event I’ve worked on, I always get partnered up with other members, and with that, we not only get to do our job but also get to know each other a bit more. For example, after the Boo Bash event, I went out with some members after the event and it allowed me to bond with other members aside from just working together. Teamwork is one of the qualities of a future event planner I want others to know that it takes a team of people to put together a successful event and you have to be able to work with others no matter what. I plan to make a positive impact by continuing to bring more events to students on campus as a startup. Not only does this give students other things to do but it also opens them up to meet other students and make friendships with other students. Lastly, a big reason why I am passionate about event planning is because I like to bring people together and I like to be creative. I feel like event planning is all about community and seeing people coming together at events and having a good time is a goal that I want to achieve when planning my events in the future. I am also big on my creative eye, I like to envision ideas but also bring them to life throughout designing and planning the different pieces of the event. Seeing a vision come to life of how an event plays out is a possibility that I want to be able to see soon.
    College Showdown Scholarship