The world is different. Academy freshmen are ready to make it better.

Six young people on a yellow background. From left to right: a man in sunglasses yelling into a megaphone; a woman smiling wearing floral blouse; woman with long braids, tilted head smiling wide; woman with blonde hair and green top; male with glasses, beige cap, and rain jacket; bald male with sunglasses, blue suit and striped tie

September 7, 2021

Amidst a return to in-person life on campus at USC, the Iovine and Young Academy welcomes a new cohort that seeks the extraordinary and reimagines a brighter future.

In a tight-knit class of 31, Cohort 8 showcases an expansive range of talent, knowledge and backgrounds. 

“All the Academy students I've had the chance to meet have been so kind, incredibly creative and so diverse in their interests,” says James Wang of Cohort 8. "It's very exciting to be a part of an academic environment so deliberately curated around the student body.”

Under-represented minority populations make up nearly a third of the new class, with 71% of the group being students of color. Cohort 8 also brings an international perspective befitting the program's global outlook. In addition to students from the United States, six countries are represented in this class, from China, Brazil, Hong Kong, Turkey, South Korea and the Philippines.

Not only is Cohort 8 incredibly diverse, but they enter USC with a dazzling array of accomplishments. Their number includes a published author, a graduate of the Neighborhood Academic Initiative and founders of their own companies. These top-tier critical thinkers, leaders and creative minds are prepared for the Academy curriculum that will position them to become the next generation of change-makers.

In a program that emphasizes adaptation and resilience, this new cohort shares a collective experience that sets them apart. Coming from a new era of virtual learning due to global circumstances, each student demonstrated their ability to adjust their learning style and thrive despite the challenges of a global pandemic. 

Cohort 8 proves to be battle-tested and ready to flex their technological, communication, and creative muscles. We are proud to welcome Cohort 8 to the Academy as they begin their journey to make the change our world needs.

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