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LAS MILPAS, RGV – The team leader of the Southwest Marketing’s group that researched the possibility of launching a regional student journalism program with the Rio Grande Guardian and FIRST RGV did well at Brown University this past summer.

PSJA Southwest Early College High School Senior Kassandra Moreno completed the highly competitive 2019 Brown University Pre-College Summer Program in Organizational Behavior.

Moreno marketing skills were also recognized when she was hired by a local digital marketing agency to manage social media.

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Kassandra Moreno

“We are so proud of the work Kassandra did for us,” said Steve Taylor, publisher of the Rio Grande Guardian. “She expertly led the Southwest Marketing’s team that analyzed what it would take to start and sustain a student journalism and communications program for the South Texas. She was a great team leader and I am not surprised to see the plaudits now coming her way.”

Moreno has been an active member of the PSJA Southwest Marketing Program over the last three years. It was PSJA ISD Entrepreneurship Coordinator and Marketing Instructor Eloy Garza who chose Moreno to lead the Rio Grande Guardian/FIRST RGV program.

“Kassandra is a remarkable young lady whose drive and dedication to succeed will undoubtedly take her far in life,” Garza said. “She is an outstanding young business professional who represents our district, community, and region with distinction.”

The competitive Brown University Pre-College Summer Program offers more than 200 non-credit courses reflecting the wide range of Brown University’s Open Curriculum, and puts students in contact with ways of thinking, seeing and doing that challenge them to reflect deeply and think critically about their work, their learning and their lives.

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Moreno was commended for being at the top of her class that took place July 14 – August 2, 2019.

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The Rio Grande Guardian and FIRST RGV were presented with a plaque by Southwest Marketing.

“It was challenging at first, but I am honored to have ranked number 1 in the class,” said Moreno of her experience at Brown. “I was already familiar with a lot of the content and concepts because of my experience in the PSJA Southwest Marketing Program.”

Moreno shared that she first learned of the Brown University Pre-College Program when she participated in the district’s PSJA Ivy League & University Tours as a sophomore in 2017.

“We went to Harvard, MIT and Brown University and I just fell in love with the campus and the programs,” said Moreno who will be graduating with an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from South Texas College. “I remember noticing there were kids my age, so I asked and our tour guide [mentioned] the program and when to apply.”

Moreno has applied for early decision to Brown University’s Business Marketing Program and expects to know by mid-December.

“Thank you to PSJA and my mentor Mr. Garza,” said Moreno. “The education I have received has really prepared me. I never thought I was going to be able to take a course at Brown University and do well. I’m really grateful.”

Thanks to the experience Moreno has gained at Southwest Marketing, working on the Rio Grande Guardian/FIRST RGV project and studying at Brown, Moreno recently became the first high school senior to be hired as a contract freelancer Social Media Specialist by Cobalt Digital Marketing, an agency that specializes in search engine optimization, social media, and content management in McAllen.

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“She’s really impressive and I love her enthusiasm,” said Cobalt Digital Marketing Owner Stephanie Hawk. “She is managing three accounts and the work I am seeing is excellent. Her strategies are on point with clients.”

According to Hawk, due to the preparation and caliber of education students receive at PSJA ISD, Moreno is the fourth PSJA student/alumni they have worked with.

“I am so impressed by this program that is a combination of academic and applied learning,” said Hawk. “The students coming out are ready for the workforce. The amazing talent we have worked with has helped our company grow.”

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows Kassandra Moreno picking up an award from Eloy Garza for her work leading the Rio Grande Guardian/FIRST RGV student journalism project.

Henry Cuellar: Large Leaderboard

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