Each student is recognized for their accomplishments as a future and current entrepreneur pursuing a higher education.
There's always a risk involved with starting a company, but for a couple of Texas Tech University students, this risk was greatly awarded.
Rawls College of Business energy commerce majors Eric E. Hernandez and Michael Kmetz, two of the 36 students from across the state have been selected for non-restricted scholarships by the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation (TBHF). Hernandez and Kmetz received the McLand Company Reading Program and Silver and Black Give Back scholarships, collecting $15,000 each. Both students will be honored Oct. 27 in San Antonio at the annual luncheon ceremony and recognized at the TBHF's annual induction dinner.
The TBHF awards scholarships to help keep Texas' economy at the forefront of the 21st century with future entrepreneurs and leaders. These scholarships are funded by contributions from supporters and the Scholarship Endowment Program.
In 2012, Hernandez started his sole ownership of an independent land acquisition company. At Render Enterprise, LLC, he acquires oil, gas and mineral leases and markets them to buyers. He also is an active member of the American Association of Professional Landmen, the Permian Basin Landmen's Association and the New Mexico Landmen's Association.
The scholarship will enhance both students' bachelor's degrees. Particularly, Hernandez, who attends Texas Tech and Midland College as a part time student, was using his business to pay for his tuition. With the funding provided through the foundation starting this fall, he will transition to a full-time student. Gaining an education in energy commerce will further develop skills needed for his aspiration of running a successful oil exploration and production company.
“I am privileged to represent the Texas Tech Free Market Institute in accepting the TBHF McLand scholarship,” Hernandez said. “This generous scholarship is a great help in reaching my educational goals and becoming the first in my family to earn a college degree.”
Recipients were chosen for their educational accomplishments, leadership achievements and entrepreneurial success. With the slogan “best of the best,” the foundation considered the career experience and background of each applicant with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Kmetz organized his first business in middle school with his brothers in selling Nerf darts on eBay. Their idea came from a creativity and resourcefulness taught by their parents, especially when dealing with everyday chores. Though the business quickly closed due to overstock, Kmetz learned the basic elements of owning a business. Kmetz said it also encouraged him to appreciate elements of business such as quality control and customer service, which are crucial to success.
Since starting at Texas Tech, he's served the community in creative ways, like performing with his country band to help raise $12,000 for Relay for Life. He also has helped hosted events and fundraisers for Honors College, Pi Kappa Alpha and other organizations he's a part of. He hopes to one day host his own talk show and run for an elected office.
“I believe the Texas Business Hall of Fame's mission is to recognize past, present and future business leaders who will create an even greater Texas and America,” Kmetz said.
This is TBHF's 34th anniversary with more than $3 million in scholarships, 180 Texas Business Legends and 80 directors.