Alison Velez

NHD 1991, 1992, 1993

Where do you currently live?

What is your current occupation?
Stay-at-home mom but previously Associate General Counsel for a commercial real estate company.

What school did you attend while participating in NHD?
Cedar Bayou Junior High, Baytown, Texas
Lee High School, Baytown, Texas

What college did you attend?
Texas A&M University, B.S. Journalism
Tulane Law School, J.D.
University of Houston Law Center, LL.M. (Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources).

Who were your teachers?
Mrs. Donna Britt (Fagala)

What years and in what category did you participate in NHD?
1991, Group Performance
1992, Group Performance
1993, Group Performance

What are a few of your favorite or defining moments from your NHD experience?
I think the most defining experience for me was writing the scripts for our performances. It is such a challenge to take a massive amount of research and distill it into a relatable narrative—something informative, entertaining, and that, hopefully, evokes an emotional response in the audience. I believe the experience of writing those scripts, of making our work come alive, truly influenced my lifelong love of writing.

How did NHD help you after high school?
NHD taught me to plan. To set long-term goals and persevere in the pursuit of those goals even when it wasn’t easy. But most of all, I think NHD gave me a larger world view—both through the subjects we studied and the experience of competing. We went to state for the first time in seventh grade and I remember being blown away by the caliber of projects in every category. It really opened my eyes to what was possible. I think that experience spurred us on to Nationals the following year. But even more than that, NHD broadened my idea of what I was capable of, both then and in the years that followed.

What recognition did you receive for participating in NHD?
Most notably, in 1992 we placed second at state and went on to the final round at the National Contest.

Did you do anything with your NHD project or research after the contest year?
We put on the performances for various student groups.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about your NHD experience?
For me, NHD was more than an academic and character building opportunity. It was the source of lifelong friendships, and for that I am forever grateful. My group performance partners remain dear friends to this day. I even chatted with them trying to jog my memory for this profile!