Tricia Jackson

Tricia Jackson shares the joys of being one of the Longhorns’ biggest fans as a UT Cheerleader. She dishes on what it takes to be a part of such an exciting organization and why she just can’t bare to part with it.

HC Texas: What is your role, and what are your duties on Texas Cheer?
TJ: My duties are endless! I am the vice-president and co-captain of the All-Girl Team, and a fourth year senior in the program. I have two officers that work underneath me, and then half of the team is also designated as Team Tricia. Team Tricia is the External Relations team. We create all of the choreography for our performances, manage the various appearances we make throughout the community, establish the philanthropic activities we do throughout the year, and most recently we’ve created the first official Texas Cheer Fan Page on Facebook. We handle all of the media content and social networking for our squad.

HC Texas: When did you start your cheerleading career?
TJ: I began cheering in middle school (6th grade,) but before that I was a gymnast.

HC Texas: What do you consider the best part about being a cheerleader?
TJ: Definitely the girls that I get to work with everyday; they are amazing and I love them. Second are the people that I get to meet while being a part of the program, from coaches to athletes, alumni to young children; it feels great to represent something larger than myself.

HC Texas: What is the worst part?
TJ: The inevitability that this experience will end when I graduate.

HC Texas: How much practicing is involved?
TJ: We practice three times a week for two and half hours each day.

HC Texas: What advice would you give to young people wanting to try out for a cheerleading position?
TJ: Being a Texas cheerleader means having more than just skills. You must be poised and personable, intelligent and outgoing, and most of all be a huge supporter of the University of Texas. You need to have a great attitude and work ethic, and you will also need to be a team player. We work together every day in order to be the very best at what we do.

HC Texas: Has cheerleading shaped your life in any way?  If so, how?
TJ:Absolutely. It has helped shape me into the outgoing and confident person that I am. I have realized through my experience in cheer, that I am a capable leader. I am better able to make informed decisions and manage a large group of people and responsibilities. I can also multitask like crazy!

HC Texas: Who or what inspires you?
TJ: My gymnastics coach Mrs. Alisa is one of the most inspiring people I have ever known. She has always supported me and has never once doubted my ability to succeed. She not only helped me build my skills, but she helped me build my own personal strength. She is also a survivor of cancer. Words cannot describe how much I love and appreciate her… I am also inspired by the prospect of helping others. My motto for being a leader of Texas Cheer has always to been to do whatever I can to make someone else’s experience amazing. I hope that I have accomplished that.

HC Texas: Does Texas Cheer do any volunteering? If so, how has it affected you?
TJ: Yes! This is one of the responsibilities that falls under the umbrella of Team Tricia/External Relations. It is honestly one of the most enjoyable parts of the whole experience. We get to give back to the community and build character. Some of the philanthropies that we have taken part in are feeding the homeless, the Austin Kids Helping Kids Toy Drive, Austin’s Blue Santa, and Adopt a Family. I always tell the girls that serving our community is one of the most important parts of what we do. Giving back to the less fortunate is a way for us to stay in touch with the world around us and to grow as individuals.