Congratulations AOAT Class of 2017! We wish you all the best as you complete one chapter in your journey, and embark on the next! Stay curious, motivated, and creative in your pursuit of your passions! And come visit your Academy family to inspire those who follow. We celebrate you, 2017 Graduates!
Every year we take the 10th graders to tour UCLA, introducing them to a high goal to work towards. Then in 11th grade students visit colleges more in their attainable range. This year for the first time we polled the Juniors to see what their dream college experience would be, and then took them to a school aligned with their interests. Our art and design aspirants toured Art Center College of Design in Pasadena; those looking for the variety of options at at California State University visited CSULA; and the students who wanted a two-year program with certificates in many trade fields had an exciting day at LA Trade Tech! We hope we can continue to provide this variety of experiences tailored to student preferences, but the costs for buses and substitute teachers is straining our budget. Maybe we should apply for some scholarships!!!
This year’s college trip combined visits to both CSUN and Pierce on the same day. We find the very visible contrast between this large university and small community college really brings home to high school students what lies ahead after graduation: choices! Many attend these two local schools, and some plan to pursue art studies that are the core of our academy program. Therefore we were excited that this year our Board member Larry Oviatt, an art professor at CSUN, organized a very special tour of their art department for us.
We started our visit at the Art Gallery, which was showing a juried exhibit of current CSUN art students’ work. There was an amazing diversity of media represented that really showcased the variety of art courses available. Next we broke into smaller groups and went into 6 or 7 studio classes, including photography, 2-D design, 3-D design, and their campus graphics business, VisCom. All the instructors were happy to share what they were teaching, and answer questions.
After this introduction to the art area, we met up with several AOAT alums who attend CSUN and they showed us around other parts of the large campus. For lunch we let everyone go their own direction, and met back up to bus over to Pierce. This much smaller school was almost deserted as there are few Friday classes, but again we were welcomed by AOAT alums who showed us around before everyone collapsed back on the bus to return to Cleveland. Everyone had a lot to think about, and maybe some better ideas about what college “looks like”!
Alum Kathleen Delos Reyes is pursuing her long-held passion: a medical career! She’s already working on her Master’s Degree and loves learning. She will be a compassionate practitioner one day and we hope she’ll continue to inspire Academy students with her dedication to her goals.
Omar wanted to be an architect when he was a junior in AOAT, but after he experienced a year of college changed his mind and set out to learn how to be an entrepreneur – by doing it! He visited recently and showed students his new line of streetwear shirts and accessories called Triumvirate.
“Triumvirate Apparel Company is a clothing brand that is built on Quality, Simplicity, and Vision (QSV)… My former AOAT classmate Oscar Morales and I founded the company last summer, and our primary plans are to expand and conquer our region, the San Fernando Valley, and from there expand internationally. We want our customers to know that we offer quality products that are a bang for their buck.”
College and Career preparation are at the core of AOAT’s curriculum, and our graduates validate that both strands of post-high-school focus are serving students well as they leave Cleveland to follow their own paths in life.