EJ Carrion, 32

Name: EJ Carrion

Family: Wife Monica and Dog Sega

Hometown: Burkburnett, Texas

Age: 32

Company: Student Success Agency

Position: Co-founder & CEO

How do you choose to give back to the community? I love the Eastside, and I look to support underrepresented nonprofits and leaders. I also do a weekly podcast called the 817 Podcast that discusses the essential topics for a city like Fort Worth to prosper. I also was a part of the Leadership Fort Worth Class of 2022. It really motivated me to get more involved and spend more time locally to make a difference.

What advice would you give to yourself at age 15? Read more books and learn to code. 

Where did your first paycheck come from? Installing sprinklers while in high school.

What other profession would you like to try? Vinyl DJ, UX Designer, Carpenter or Economist

Tell us about an influential person in your life. How did they influence you and why are they important?  My mom. Her dream was for her kids to be successful and graduate from college. Both my brother and I were able to do that for her, which has allowed us to catapult our independence as adults in the metroplex. I was the first of my family to go to college, and I am confident that would not have happened without my mother’s ambition. My wife says my mom and I are the same people. What motivates me is to keep striving for more so that the next person with our DNA can take our core strengths and accomplish even more than my mom or I could ever imagine.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A professional basketball player. I idolized Allen Iverson. In fact, the first YouTube video I ever watched was ‘How to Cross Over like Allen Iverson.”

What movie, TV show, book, stage play or video game influenced you growing up? Warriors of Virtue. It was a movie popular in China about kung fu kangaroos who each were an element like steel, fire or ice. It had the fighting scenes of Dragon Ball Z but the human collectiveness messaging of Captain Planet.

Tell us one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to find out? For my 30th birthday I threw a rap concert because a childhood dream of mine was to be a rapper. Several local artists performed and helped turn this dream into a reality. One of my songs made Fort Worth Weekly magazine’s Best 20 Songs in 2019. 

What is your ideal vacation? Reading my iPad on a beach or in AirBnB with no distractions.

Favorite food or restaurant? Sushi at Hatsuyaki 

Favorite drink? Coffee

Favorite movie: Django

Favorite sports team: Oklahoma Sooners

Favorite song: Texas Sun by Leon Bridges and Khruangbin

Tell us about your prop? My prop is my podcast equipment, which plays as the tool that connected me to the city. I started a local podcast with a friend about the city covering local topics like voting, redistricting, and economics during the pandemic. Due to my newfound availability and being stuck at home, I could invest time in consuming the local news publications and researching important data points that I believed were important to residents. Before the pandemic, I was always in an airplane traveling for work, making it hard to build a local footprint. The podcast has connected me to the city. It has provided me with the community and a local influencer that just 36 months ago was nonexistent. I love the city of Fort Worth, and I am bullish on our potential.

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