Submitted by Alexis Sobel
BOCA RATON, FLA. — Kelly/Strul Emerging Scholars Program graduate Shyra Johnson recently passed the 2022 National Basketball Players Association Agent Certification Exam, becoming the youngest certified sports agent in history. At 21, the Florida Atlantic University alumna beat out former position holder Drew Rosenhaus.
Developed in 2017 by Boca Raton philanthropists Aubrey and Sally Strul in partnership with FAU President John Kelly and First Lady Carolyn Kelly, The Kelly/Strul Emerging Scholars Program offers academically talented, first-generation, low-income high school seniors the opportunity to attend FAU and graduate, debt-free. Each scholar follows “The Path,” a 17-step program, which includes wraparound services supporting successful collegiate careers and post-graduate lives, such as career planning, mentoring, and financial literacy, among others. The program now boasts thirteen graduates and has grown to include 60 scholars.
Johnson, who founded and serves as CEO of Team Empire Sports, graduated last year with her bachelor’s in business administration and management and is currently enrolled in FAU’s MBA program in sports management. She is a founder of the nonprofit Sports Business Network and gives back to the Kelly/Strul program as a First-Generation Retention Specialist. While an undergraduate, the Kelly/Strul scholar worked as a client relations manager at Green Sports Management, a sports agency specializing in athlete management and partnership marketing, and was an intern at ESPN.
“The Kelly/Strul program’s financial and academic support provided me with the ability to completely focus on pursuing my dreams,” Johnson said. “I am actively changing the trajectory of my family’s destiny and hope to inspire other first-generation students and young women interested in a career in sports.”
In 1989, Rosenhaus made history when he became a registered sports agent at age 22. Since then, he has negotiated over $7 billion in contracts and is the only agent ever to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Johnson said surpassing Rosenhaus as the youngest registered sports agent in history is just the start of her journey.
“Shyra is a trailblazer and a shining example of what outstanding scholars can achieve when given the opportunities they deserve,” Aubrey Strul said. “It has been a true joy watching her grow into a confident, accomplished young woman. For Shyra, the sky is the limit.”