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FRESH Encounters: Tory Gapp

For new Academy student Tory Gapp, who transferred into Iovine and Young Academy after her first year at USC, growth can come from where you least expect it. At the Academy, Tory is challenging herself to dream big, push the boundaries, and explore the relationship between AI technology and cosmetics. 

What does being at the Academy mean to you? 

To me, being at the Academy means community and self-growth. The Academy is a place where I am able to pursue and develop my many different interests and passions without constraint. I am encouraged to think outside of the box and exercise my creative vision while being surrounded by a cohort of extremely talented individuals who push me to be better and do better. Everyone is so passionate about what they do and are constantly lifting one another up, which fosters a sense of community and belonging. I am so grateful to be a part of the IYA community and am excited to see what we all accomplish over the next four years.

What is something about the way the world works that you'd like to disrupt? 

As a creative, I would love to use my artistic and entrepreneurial vision to disrupt the way others see and experience the world around them. Two issues I am super passionate about are sustainability and inclusivity which are common issues facing the cosmetics industry. I would love to fuse my creative vision and interests in cosmetics with AI/tech to target the emerging beauty market to tackle the industry at large by making it more environmentally sustainable and inclusive.

What are three goals you have this year? 

Begin a long-term passion project Make the world a more positive place in anyway that I can Develop my weak areas and explore areas that I have yet to  

Who is the most impressive entrepreneur alive today? Why? 

While the answer to this question is ever-changing, at this point in time Elon Musk is arguably one of the most influential entrepreneurs alive today because he has been able to revolutionize the tech industry while also contributing to the greater good of society. Musk’s ventures, such as Tesla and SpaceX, have pushed and redefined the boundaries of human potential as he has successfully brought to life ideas that seemed unimaginable while also helping make the world a more sustainable place (e.g. by popularizing electric cars). Musk’s vision and his ability to rally human excitement and societal progression through execution of his vision makes him one of the most impressive designers/entrepreneurs of our time. 

What are some things you want to know about your future senior self?

Am I still as ambitious as I am now? Will my passions be the same or did I develop new ones? 

Describe one thing most people don’t know about you? 

For people who don’t know me, I laugh at everything. I am a great person to tell bad jokes to because I will 100% laugh. 

What is one thing your parents taught you that you’d like to share?

Growing up, my parents were always forcing me to try new things which indirectly taught me that sometimes the most growth can spur from the places where you least expect it. Some of the things I complained about doing most as a kid were actually the things that ended up teaching me the most. 😊

What is a recent project you’ve worked on that you’re really proud of? 

Recently, I had the opportunity to create the annual 100th year anniversary braille holiday card for non-profit Hadley School for the Blind. I was inspired by my own childhood memories ice skating with my siblings and friends during the winter time and wanted to recreate a scene that would really epitomize the joyous nature of the holiday season and invite onlookers to reminisce. All of the proceeds went towards supporting Hadley’s mission to create personalized learning opportunities that empower adults with vision loss or blindness to thrive in their communities. 


What are the essential things you always keep in your backpack?
AirPods! I am always listening to music no matter what I’m doing.

Favorite app, service or website?
Tiktok (lol)

If you could be best friends with one fictional character who would it be?
Elle Woods

Thanks, Tory!