September 14, 2015

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Like Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard, students from Harlandale Independent School District (HISD) will receive their own personal agent to help them with their brand. Now these students may not need help obtaining endorsement deals or contract extensions, but they do need assistance in promoting themselves when applying to college and financial aid.

Students will work with their agents one-on-one through text, phone, and video chat to start and complete the college process. Agents are trained, relatable college students who received scholarships themselves. In fact, one of every four agents has a full-ride scholarship.

According to the American School Counselor Association, a student only receives 38 minutes of advising time with their counselor every year making it difficult for students to create their personal statement and identify what makes them unique compared to other college applicants. HISD plans to have their juniors work with their agent at least 38 minutes a month for the entire school year.

“Students who can demonstrate their brand and story-tell their educational experience have a higher chance of getting accepted to college and winning scholarships,” according to EJ Carrion, founder of Student Success Agency and first-generation college student who received a full-ride scholarship to go to school.

Thanks to Harlandale’s collaboration with San Antonio Independent School District and the federal program, GEAR UP, HISD was able to pair all of their juniors with agents for the 2015-2016 school year. GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs that provides six- and seven-year grants to education/community partnerships and states to raise the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

This program is the first of its kind and HISD has already been recognized nationally for their work. This summer, HISD spoke with Student Success Agency at the national GEAR UP conference sharing and teaching other districts how to use technology to create online near-peer advising programs.

The program starts this week with a kick-off event to introduce the new initiative. The event will include a welcome kit for every student and a keynote address from celebrity fashion designer Devin Lars who will discuss personal branding.

“From the way you dress to the dreams and goals you write down, every single one of us stands for something. In my keynote, my goal is to help these students see the power of knowing yourself and having a brand that represents where you want to go,” said Devin Lars.

Dates of the kick-off events are below and are open to the media. Contact EJ Carrion at to receive more information. Video of students will also be available to demonstrate the agent relationship.

September 21st, 2015

Harlandale High School
114 E Gerald Ave
San Antonio, TX 78214

Event Time: 9:20am

September 23rd, 2015

McCollum High School
500 W Formosa Blvd
San Antonio, TX 78221

Event Time: 12:30pm


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