My name is Lauren Riback and I am interested in applying for the ambassador position for Miss Rodeo Aspirations Queen for 2017.
I grew up grew up in the beautiful Willamette Valley from West Linn, to Canby, from Corvallis to Molalla, and following high school graduation in 2013, my mother and I moved to Redmond, Oregon. I have been riding horses since third grade when I spent a summer at horse camp with my mother and ended up leasing a little quarter horse mare. Six months later, I found my soul-mate; a Paint/Arabian mare that I named “Zara” and who has been my riding partner for the past 13 years.
I am a former nine-year member of Clackamas County 4-H with leadership roles as both a county and state ambassador and representing Oregon at 4-H National Congress. I won championships at both the county and state level with my 4-H projects including fashion revue, horse judging, public speaking, photography, and sewing, and represented Oregon as a member of the state horse judging team at the Eastern National 4-H Roundup.
While in high school I was also active in the Molalla FFA chapter as both a chapter officer and as a Mt. Hood District officer competing in a variety of Career Development Events. My passion has always been horse judging and the Molalla team was state champions three times, and placed gold at National FFA Convention. In addition, I achieved state championships in job interview, rabbits, portfolio, and small animal proficiency for my purebred polish show rabbits. I also received my FFA American degree in November 2014.
I was a member of Camp Fire USA for 13 years accomplishing numerous independent studies towards the completion of the Wo-He-Lo Award; the highest achievement of the youth organization. I also served as an ambassador for the Miss Oregon Scholarship program as Miss Washington County and Miss West Coast Outstanding Teen, Miss Teen Earth Oregon, the Distinguished Young Women of Oregon, and the Oregon Trail Appaloosa Horse Queen.
I will be a senior next fall enrolled in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas where I am completing coursework in Agricultural Science (teaching) with a minor in Agronomy and currently received my Hollingsworth Academic Leadership Certificate. I just completed four years as a member of the Corps of Cadets and was selected as First Sergeant (the highest ranking female) in the specialized parade and show unit, Parsons Mounted Cavalry where I was responsible for ensuring training for 52 horses and mules as well as teaching riding lessons to upper classmen and candidates in training.
As the third largest military program in the nation, the Corps of Cadets has a regimented schedule of activities and commitments throughout the school year that kept me busy, but I also actively volunteered as a youth mentor, on-campus events like Aggieland Saturday, Parent’s Weekend, The Big Event, played two years on the Corps ladies basketball team, donate hand-made blankets to the local Project Linus® chapter for children and youth in crisis, and attend FAST (Future Agricultural Science Teacher) monthly meetings.
At home during holiday breaks, I have been employed as ski lift operator during the winter, and an agricultural intern for Oregon State, and as a structural steel welder. I also participate as a volunteer for Flag City USA in Redmond, for Heaven Can Wait 5k & walk for breast cancer awareness, and sew additional blankets for Project Linus®. As the OTAHC queen in 2015, I promoted the Appaloosa horse breed by participating in community events, rodeos, and parades throughout the State of Oregon. It was an incredible year connecting with other royalty from around the state, but also with adults and children in all of the communities—the best part, of course, being the children.
When I consider the meaning of the word “aspiration,” a goal or objective that is strongly desired, I can’t help but think of the many adults in my life who were teachers, advisors, and club leaders who were always there for me and encouraged me along the way to always give my best to achieve my goals. I would not be attending a Tier One/SEC out-of-state college, if it wasn’t for my FFA advisor pushing me, I would not be on the brink of completing my college education without the support of my fellow cadets in the Corps and the professors who were there for me. And, of course the support of my mom who is my rock. I am who I am, not only from my own perseverance, but also the support I have received from many others.
When I view my role as a queen, I embrace it as an excellent opportunity as the ambassador of the Rodeo Aspirations organization, to reach out and connect with people of all ages and in a variety of venues. I am there to support, I am there to encourage, and I am there to be a positive role model/ambassador at all times. Whether it is congratulating a cowboy on their good ride, or being there to lend a hand and a kind word when it didn’t go so well; or bringing a smile to someone in a wheelchair during a lag in a parade, or brushing off a tear of a toddler who fell down. I am there to promote the sport of rodeo, but also as a future Ag educator I am there to help people understand that rodeo originates from the farms and ranches that still today put food on our tables. I am there to honor our flag, our veterans, our country, and most of all being an American. Being the representative of Rodeo Aspirations allows me the opportunity to take every moment to always be “that person” that the community will remember who took the time to connect with them.