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FRESH Encounters: Alicia John

What does being at the Academy mean to you?
I am grateful to be part of the Academy as it grants me the freedom to pursue my dreams and is the only school where I wouldn’t be compromising anything. Instead, I’m encouraged to engage in all of my interests and explore new ones, constantly learning and growing in a non-disciplinary manner. At the Academy, I’m able to let my imagination run wild and not feel stuck to any certain path, due to its versatile nature. I can do what I love to do, which is to create and work with others. Being in a cohort with people who share that same core mentality and passion is exhilarating and makes me feel a true sense of belonging.

What is something about the way the world works that you'd like to disrupt?
I feel like the world works and is structured in a manner that is heavily based on self-interest. If I could implement things that result in the disruption of the current mentality, shifting it so the consideration of others is a greater priority, that would be very rewarding. I think a lot of the problems we face would come closer to being solved.

What are three goals you have this year?
I don’t believe in the rigidity of goals. Life is constantly changing and you have to keep on adapting. I think that as long as I’m putting in my best effort, have a willingness to learn, and am being a kind person, that’s all that matters.

Who is the most impressive entrepreneur alive today? Why?
I really like Tyler the Creator. The way he has and continues to impact multiple industries such as music, fashion, and entertainment/television, starting from the ground up when he was just a teenager, is inspiring. His ability to simply be a “creator” and not be restricted to a certain path or perception, along with his authenticity, is something that I admire.

What are some things you want to know about your future senior self?
What parts of this questionnaire am I looking back at and cringing/laughing at? Have I found any clarity in terms of what I want to do, or do I still want to do a bunch of different things?

Describe one thing most people don’t know about you?
I can’t recall ever feeling bored. I don’t think I could ever experience boredom.

What is one thing your parents taught you that you’d like to share?
Stay genuine to who you are, always be kind to others, and you can have faith that everything will be fine.

What is a recent project you’ve worked on that you’re really proud of?
My classmate from high school recently started an organization called Edits for Good that I have had the privilege of joining and helping build. Edits for Good is born from the ethical desire to help high schoolers with their college applications while gathering funds to be fully distributed to nonprofits and organizations working to promote the social justice causes of today. We offer a variety of services such as college list building, brainstorming essay topics, and essay reviews, and are currently donating to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. We also hold free webinars and are partnering with other organizations to help make the college process easier for students especially during this unprecedented time. Hearing the positive responses from the students we’ve helped makes me proud of what my peers and I have been able to create. I’m excited to see how we grow our reach and impact.


What are the essential things you always keep in your backpack?
My green dotted grid notebook, multiple Pilot G-2 07 black pens, a 24-pack of crayons, and earbuds.

Favorite app, service or website?
The website useless fridge simulator—the name says it all.

If you could be best friends with one fictional character who would it be?
Abed Nadir from Community!