Durango is uplifting the cowgirls of the future with their National Day of the Cowgirl scholarship opportunity for young women pursuing a career in the Western industry.
On September 15, 2022, acclaimed Durango made history with the launch of a new holiday, National Day of the Cowgirl. This year, the boot brand is putting its money where its mouth is — $30,000 of it to be precise.
Durango is celebrating the young women who carry the spirit of the American West with them through the creation of a $30,000 scholarship for undergraduate women who aspire to contribute to the Western way of life through the passionate pursuit of a career within the Western, agriculture, farm and ranch, equine, or Western sports industries.
The scholarship will be rewarded to one young woman currently in their first year of college and will be distributed over a period of three years, beginning in the 2024 – 2025 school year. The scholarship is officially open to applicants, with the winner of being announced in the spring.
C&I spoke to Durango’s Marketing Manager Erin DeLong to get the inside look at the process of creating a national holiday to celebrate cowgirls and Durango’s hopes for the scholarship recipient.
C&I: How did the idea to launch a national holiday for the cowgirls of the American West come about?
Erin DeLong: Our Durango team had this idea back in 2021. We knew of the holiday, ‘National Day of the Cowboy’ but there wasn’t a National Day of the Cowgirl holiday that solely celebrated the incredible women who are the backbone of the Western industry and work in various capacities. The goal of this holiday is to celebrate the authenticity and diversity of the American cowgirl, educate the public on the important contributions Western Women make toward society and encourage women everywhere to adopt the strength, confidence and resiliency embodied by the cowgirl lifestyle.
C&I: Tell us about Durango’s Day of the Cowgirl scholarship. How did it come about?
DeLong: As soon as the holiday idea was conceptualized back in 2021, our team started brainstorming about the scholarship. So it’s been in the works for two years. One of our team’s passions is to pay it forward to the next generation of young women and help support their career goals and dreams, and we knew a scholarship would be a perfect opportunity to do that.
C&I: Durango has partnered with the Dude Ranch Foundation to make this opportunity happen. What made the Dude Ranch Foundation the right collaborator?
DeLong: Our team’s partnership with the Dude Ranch Foundation took place a few years ago. When we initially discussed the holiday with them and the concept of a scholarship component. They offered to help assist us as they already had their own scholarship program and the proper structure for us to execute our own. The DRF mission and goals align perfectly with our National Day of the Cowgirl objectives as they preserve the history and expand the knowledge of America’s dude ranching industry through educational programs.
C&I: Aside from the scholarship opportunity, how will Durango be celebrating the second annual Day of the Cowgirl?
DeLong: We just finished up our second annual Ultimate Cowgirl Giveaway that led up to the National Day of the Cowgirl holiday. We teamed up with 17 other Western brands to make up six amazing packages that totaled over $11,000 in value which included tickets to the National Finals Rodeo, a Dude Ranch trip, All-American Quarter Horse Congress, CMA Fest, Grand Ole Opry, and other fun prizes.
C&I: What does the spirit of the American cowgirl mean to Durango?
DeLong: The spirit of the American cowgirl is a spirit embodied by women who are determined, graceful, independent, bold, honest, hardworking, and the list goes on. Whether through farming and ranching, arts and culture, or equine sports, the spirit of a cowgirl shines through women from diverse backgrounds who share a passion for the Western way of life.