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From the launch of a new Health Innovation* minor to the opening of Iovine and Young Hall, 2019 marks one of the most exciting years for the Academy to date. Bold ideas from bright entrepreneurs will wander the chambers of the sleek, utilitarian Iovine and Young Hall come August. The newest freshman class will be among the first to make their mark (quite literally) on its walls.
Every cohort since the Academy's inception has brought its own remarkable set of experiences, skills, and dreams to build the future. The 2019 freshman cohort is no exception. With 29 students hailing from three different continents, averaging a whopping 3.8 GPA, with four National Merit Finalists, all while being the most diverse incoming class ever (62 percent students of color), the Academy's Cohort VI is already making a name for itself.
Passionate, versatile, imaginative. These are just some of the words that represent the students of the Academy. Every year freshmen are asked to describe themselves in three words introducing themselves to the community. In typical Academy fashion, every response was, atypical. Some responses included: "Very Weird Machine", "aCTuaLLy DOinG SoMEthiNg", "Flexible, sanguine, buoyant" and "Retro Gritty Onion". Despite the diversity of responses, there was an underlying theme connecting their individual voices -- ingenuity and compassion.
These are essential qualities the Academy will nurture over these student's next four years at USC. They are also invaluable assets in a world which faces a multitude of problems that need addressing sooner rather than later. By providing them with access to the Academy's incredible faculty, weekly discussions with industry leaders, and a community intentionally brought together to utilize exceptional talent across disciplines, Cohort VI will have the opportunity to push their entrepreneurial thinking to the limits.
Cohort VI's student body may come from across the world, but they all have a shared affinity for unapologetically creating and owning their own lane. They are animators, coders, producers, dancers, and filmmakers. Some develop machine learning algorithms and then write screenplays about that very technology's ethical dilemmas. Others seek to build the hotels of the future and design socio-conscious streetwear. They flip undervalued products and program inclusive social networks for underrepresented communities. They refine ideas into apps, accessories, and art. Beyond the material world, they see duality in every process.
Classes at USC and the Academy officially began August 26, and the Grand Dedication of Iovine and Young Hall takes place October 2, but rest assured the students in Cohort VI are undoubtedly already contemplating their next inspired creation.
*Offered in partnership with Keck School of Medicine of USC, MESH Academy