Junior marketing major Dylan Miles has been providing homeless individuals in Houston with warm, stylish hoodies since 2021 through his brand BetOnYourself, which he started in his freshman year. In addition to this, however, Miles is highly involved on campus and brings his leadership and good heart to UTD.
Miles introduced his Houston-based brand in 2021, a collection of stylish street wear such as hoodies, sweatpants and t-shirts, when he was still a freshman. BetOnYourself’s official website says the brand follows a mission statement of “finding that voice within yourself when dealing with life’s greatest challenges.” The brand’s meaningful message of having faith in yourself above all has attracted notable celebrities and inspired 150 people to pay $30 to sponsor a hoodie for this year’s Hoodies for Homeless event.
In addition to running his brand, Miles is the president of Alpha Phi Alpha’s UTD chapter, a fraternity dedicated to altruism and community service. Miles is also a member of the Black Student Alliance, which he promotes through his brand. In the past, Miles was a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council, where he served as a voice for fellow athletes as a member of the basketball team. Through his years at UTD, Dylan said he has enjoyed his leadership experiences.
“Being able to step in that position and have that confident spirit, be able to motivate, inspire certain people really means a lot to me,” Miles said. “And using my personal platform, using my brand, using the Alphas, using University of Texas at Dallas as a whole really means a lot to me because that’s a big network, and I have a lot of help through those people to add value to that… being a leader is something that means a lot to me. And I plan to continue to be a leader in my community, the UT Dallas community.”
Xavian Bess, the undergraduate advisor for Alpha Phi Alpha’s UTD chapter, has worked with Miles for two years. According to Bess, Miles expressed interest in the chapter during a time when membership was very low and had much planned for what he wanted to do as a member.
“He was just going out and doing it on his own,” Bess said. “He’s very ambitious, he has his own clothing line which kind of struck my interest because I understand that he’s about his business. But he also likes to do his own service on the side.”
Bess said that Miles is always looking for opportunities similar to Hoodies for Homeless with Alpha Phi Alpha. He has promoted the fraternity and its mission to students at a middle school as well as encouraging them to continue on to high school.
“He’s definitely a good guy,” Bess said. “Somebody that I see that can go on and do great things. He definitely has a ‘we over me’ mind state, and I think he can do a lot of great things within his community and outside of it as well.”
On campus, Miles has consistently brought his altruistic attitude wherever he goes. Bruce August, director of the Multicultural Center, said Miles led several programs and aided in the multicultural student welcome that takes place each year. The program gives students from different backgrounds an opportunity to meet and connect with members of UTD’s student body and faculty.
“He was very helpful in us having a great program last year,” August said. “I think since then, he’s been able to connect with a lot of folks and invite them to be more social and get connected to other staff and students and groups on campus.”
As his advisor, August has witnessed Miles being a leader on many occasions. He recalled Miles becoming a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and grew his connections with people both local and regional levels. August also noted Miles’ philanthropy and ability to connect with others, both of which he said speak strongly about his character.
“I think that he is a model student and someone that people should follow here on campus,” August said. “If they’re looking for a leader, [or] just for a friend, I think that he’s the type of student that if I was a student, I would want to be connected to.”