Breaking Barriers: How Honest Game Empowered Austin Achieve to Create a Pathway to College Sports

At Austin Achieve Public Schools in East Austin, their mission is clear: to help students from underserved communities excel at top universities. Lizzie Ten Brooke, the passionate Director of College Counseling, understood as a former student-athlete the profound impact that being part of a team can have on students. She was determined to pave the way for their student-athletes to pursue college sports and reach new heights of success.

“I have a passion not only for getting kids to college, but I also know how big of an impact that being on a team can have on a student,” she says. “If I’m able to help these kids get closer to playing athletics in college, then that’s what I want to do.”

When Lizzie was faced with the daunting task of navigating the NCAA’s high school portal, she felt overwhelmed and uncertain. The complexity of the process seemed like an insurmountable barrier.

“I was passed the task of doing our NCAA portal. And it was so intimidating and I didn’t really understand how the portal worked.”

But then, she discovered Honest Game—a game-changer that would transform the future of their student-athletes.

Enter Courtney Rickard, Honest Game’s Director of Academics and Compliance, ready to support Austin Achieve in setting up their Eligibility Center portal. Courtney’s arrival brought a wave of excitement and optimism to Lizzie and the entire school community. With her guidance and expertise, she seamlessly assisted them in navigating the portal setup from start to finish.

One in every three high schools across the country lacks an educational pathway for students to play college sports because their NCAA portals are either non-existent or not up to date. Unfortunately, this means that talented individuals from these schools can’t access opportunities to pursue NCAA DI/DII sports. Austin Achieve was determined to change that narrative, and Honest Game became their ally in this journey.

Courtney’s dedication and commitment were evident from the start. She provided timely support, ensuring that Lizzie was always one step ahead.

“Once Courtney was on board to help us set up our NCAA portal, it felt seamless,” says Lizzie. “I would get an email from the NCAA and she would be right on the heels of that email. Courtney just made it so easy.”

The impact of Honest Game’s collaboration with Austin Achieve was tangible. In just two months of working together, they made more progress in securing NCAA clearance than in the previous four years combined. The once-formidable barrier preventing talented student-athletes from pursuing their dreams had been shattered. Thanks to Honest Game, Austin Achieve’s students now have the opportunity to participate in collegiate-level athletics, enabling them to chase their aspirations like never before.

“Now that we have kids who are ready to participate at that collegiate level, they have the ability to do so,” says Lizzie. “Whereas before, even if they were interested in college sports, they would have had that barrier. Thanks to Honest Game, that barrier has been removed.”

Through their partnership with Honest Game, Austin Achieve Public Schools successfully created a pathway to college sports for their deserving student-athletes. Lizzie believes the impact at Austin Achieve will be felt for years to come, leaving a lasting legacy of empowerment and opportunity.

“They were like angels sent from above because they knew how it worked,” she says. “All of my fears, all of my confusion about the NCAA portal were really quelled. Honest Game’s impact at Austin Achieve is already going to be felt for years to come.”

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