My Quest To Teach

September 4, 2014

SWAAG Marketing/Branding for High School Seniors

SWAAG Marketing/Branding for High School Seniors

William Jackson, Terrie Carter, Liz Morgan and Host Angela Spears

Tune into WCGL AM1360 on Saturday, September 6th at 3:00pm
to hear a discussion on Social Media and Technology, how
it is influencing families and society.
Host Angela Spears (Jax Engage @jaxengage)
with William Jackson, Liz Morgan and Terrie Carter
Jax-Engage w/Angela Spears
Listen to broadcast at: WCGL
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use
to change the world.” William Butler Yeats

SWAAG – Students Working to Achieving Academic Greatness
Students in high schools across this nation need to be involved,
associated and participate in positive educational, social and leadership
building experiences. It is important that high school students from
freshmen to seniors understand the importance of Marketing themselves
and having a positive Brand.
Marketing their abilities, recognizing talents, building skills and achieving
goals are planned strategies. High school seniors if they have not done so
in their sophomore or junior years start entering the doors physically
and digitally of guidance counselors. Seeking help in choosing a
college/university, vocational school, trade school or even military service,
beginning the process of developing their SWAAG skills.

SWAAG is not just style in clothes, footwear, hairstyles, or even language,
SWAAG Is being prepared to academically compete in a highly competitive
and diverse world.
SWAAG skills should have been started in the freshman year, but maturity
and the seriousness of high school does not begin for many until later. Every
student has a certain level of SWAG / SWAGGER / SWAGGNESS and
SWAAG, but with any ability or talent this must be recognized, respected and
developed. High school students and their parents will be making decisions
that will have long lasting affects in their lives; decisions have to be made,
allowing for stability, growth and security that influence social, economic,
and family issues. There are so many things to consider and understand as
a senior in high school.

Marketing for high school students can be conducted in five ways:
1. connecting with people of similar abilities and interests using Social Media
and networking opportunities. Not just using social platforms like FB to create
serious networking, but sites like to connect and collaborate.
2. avoiding people with self-imposed personal dramas, negativity and
rebellion for educational success and social conformity. High school
students that develop their SWAAG need to learn how to code switch.
This requires students to expand their language, behaviors and even
thinking. Code-switching requires that students think about their own language
and translate in the language of their surroundings and diversity of others.
3. speaking with educators and administrators for guidance and mentoring,
receiving wisdom and common sense suggestions.
4. volunteering in service to the community to create a positive Brand
and Marketing plan 5. participating in activities that build academic
success, social skills, leadership abilities and cultural exposure.

High school students need to understand that their senior lives are
under scrutiny, people are watching their personal decisions,
who they are associated with; “guilt by association” and alliances.
Strategically placing themselves where they can network to
increase their visibility to others who have similar interests and goals.
As I speak to high school students about their Social Media content and
careers in STEAM I mention that their time is valuable and not to
waste it, their opportunity to make a good impression limited especially
if they are associated with negative people and activities; first impressions
are very important. Take the time to make good first impressions.

The power of participation in diverse venues is important because it
opens doors for networking connections and advanced educational
opportunities. SWAAG comes into play for high school students; they
should participate in workshops, seminars, conferences, panel
discussions and symposiums, working to experience diversity,
strategically building strengths and skill sets.

This year I have spoken to high school seniors participating in
Black Male College Explorers Program (Edward Waters College),
Learn2Earn Experience (City of Jacksonville, Florida), Upward Bound,
Boys and Girls Clubs Conferences (Keystone Leadership), Man Up for
Health Summit, Preventing Crime in the Black Community through
the Florida State Attorneys Office all with the focus of educating,
engaging and inspiring high school students. There are collaborations
and connections that seniors should associate themselves through
volunteering in the community. Organizations like:
Elexia Coleman-Moss of Journey Into Womanhood
Darren Gardner of Black Male College Explorers Program
Cedric Cruse of Mayor Alvin Brown’s Learn2Earn Experience
Traci Irvin’s Girls with Goals (,
Girls.Inc (,
Lynette Kohn IDEAL DAD Conference

These are just a few of the people with positive organizations making
positive changes in their communities. These individuals and their
associations are dedicated to helping young people obtain success
educationally, professionally and importantly to be a positive force
of encouraging volunteering in the community. “Pay It Forward”

The hope of this blog is to help all high school students
understand that their activities and associations do matter.
How they Market and Brand themselves can earn scholarships,
internships and employment.
The criminal justice system is not a place youth, teens and young
adults need to be involved in. This association will ruin young lives
for years. Denying higher education, employment opportunities,
voting rights, and stopping a life of success, prosperity and growth.
There sometimes are no second chances when entering the criminal justice
system for teens. As stated by Senator Anthony “Tony” Hill at the Black Male
College Explorers banquet, “parents have a responsibility to stay
involved in their children’s lives, they are held accountable for the
successes or failures of their children in school and life.”

High school students and their parents should understand that societal
perceptions, peer influences and judgments are influential in
a young person’s life. The diversity of Social Media platforms can help
Market, but need to be strategically planned. Proper marketing can open
doors of opportunity and increase visibility that shows uniqueness, and
identity. A high school students reputation is important so preserving
it and keeping it “clean” is important.
In this digital age people see teens before they meet them, how teens
dress, present themselves, interact with others and language usage are
observations made by people.

Communication skills are very important, high school students need
to judge what they are communicating to the public. Thought must go
into the building of content online. High schools students will be held
accountable for their actions from their posted information online and
their actions in their communities and even places of worship.
SWAAG – Students Working to Achieve Academic Success is important
because competition is fierce in life.

High school year’s transition very quickly parents need to begin the
process of Marketing early. The competition for higher education,
internships, scholarships and employment is competitive.
High school students need to ask themselves how do I perceive myself,
making a list and then asking teachers, administrators, family, friends,
and others in the community how do they perceive them. This allows
for areas to be addressed that need strengthening, modification,
explanation and weaknesses transformed.
Working with others in collaboration, leadership, cooperation and in an
atmosphere of diversity is important. There is no time for adverse
cultural disagreements, dislikes or disrespect.

Maya Angelou has an appropriate quote that can be shared with high school
students, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people
will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you
made them feel.”

In this world of constant change, competitiveness and diversity high school
students must leverage and utilize their greatest asset THEMSELVES!!!

William Jackson, M.Ed.
Speaker on Social Media, STEAM
National Blogger
Educator with Edward Waters College
Twitter: @wmjackson


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