DeSoto resident Tremaine Kemp recently received a scholarship grant from the State Fair of Texas. Kemp was one of seven recipients awarded Seasonal Employee Scholarships at the State Fair’s annual event in May.
Focus Daily News caught up with Kemp to find out more about her award. We discussed her experiences from working with the State Fair of Texas as a seasonal employee.
Kemp Finds State Fair Employment
Kemp said, “I landed my job at the State Fair in 2002 by word of mouth. I stopped in as instructed to the green gates building with Mrs. Julie and Rain Man (nickname of a 25 year gates manager). I filled out my application along with my credentials and was hired on the spot. I missed the next couple of years, but returned in 2009 and have returned every year after.”
“In the beginning, I was a Midway ride operator. The following year I was in the coupon booth along with three other women. I asked not to be placed in a position where outsiders could violate my trust and the trust of the State Fair by having access to my coupons and/or cash drawer. Because I had problems choosing the wrong type of friends and company to keep as a youth, as an adult I refuse to take a fall or be put in a position where I would have to suffer consequences of other people’s actions. I have held a position post at gate 10-11 every year since.”
“I have been insulin dependent since 1989 and have always maintained my disease through medication, exercise, and diet. But in 2007 I had my first accident, causing a permanent fear of driving as well as paranoia and schizophrenia of 18-wheeler trucks. After my terrible accident, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism a Graves disease of overactive thyroid glands that kept me from a full-time job. I worked at an insurance company called Gentry Group as a trainer of new hires and appointment setter in a major call center. Since becoming disabled in 2011, I was depressed from not having the ability to do normal things people do in their day to day lives.”
El Centro College
“Listening to a conversation in physical therapy session, I decided to apply to attend El Centro College in Downtown Dallas. I was accepted in 2015 and have been growing educationally and mentally since then. The State Fair of Texas accepted me back and has not discriminated against me because of my disabilities.”
“Business is my major. I would like to one day open a building where I’m able to help the younger generation achieve goals and objectives in spite of past transgressions. Those who believe their life is over because of one or more mistakes.”
“Every year I meet new people at the fair. Many of the other individuals who are faithful returning employees at gate 10-11 introduce their children who are of age. I have an opportunity to share my own experience, strengths, and hope with others to give them hope to go back to school and not to give up on their dreams. I tell other students to live life according to the golden rule of doing unto others as you will have them do unto you. Over the years I have seen many employees, young and old, removed due to mistakes like under-hand tactics and greed over money, or disrespectful behaviors to customers. Being employed on any job is a privilege whether full-time, part-time, or seasonal and your work ethics will follow you down the road.”
State Fair Seasonal Employment For Internships
“For students working at the State Fair, many colleges and universities allow you to carry out your required internship during the fair’s season. It looks great on your resume’, you meet many new people, and it allows you to network every year. Working for the State Fair, even as a physically disabled individual, you can grow mentally and spiritually. I know I have.”
Since its establishment in 1992, the Big Tex Scholarship Program supports agriculture, education, and community involvement. The State Fair honored its Dallas-area 2019 scholarship recipients at the annual Big Tex Scholarship Awards Luncheon in May. Pete Schenkel recipients came from six Dallas Independent School District (DISD) high schools in the Fair Park area. Seasonal Employee recipients from across the DFW area were also honored. A total of nearly $1.25M in 2019 college scholarships was awarded. The scholarships went to 85 recipients from DISD and seven Seasonal Employee Scholarship recipients. Also 111 Youth Livestock Scholarship recipients from around the state.