Memories are made of this…


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!


Designing Careers


Another important part of the AOAT career preparation process is the annual Career Exploration Visit. This year’s hosts – Midnight Oil and Impress Communications – are two leading contenders in the high end design and printing fields. And both were extending this incredible opportunity to the students not for the first time – Midnight Oil was the host of our very first CEV six years ago, and Impress has hosted AOAT twice before! We cannot thank these generous companies enough for welcoming young people into their domains and opening their eyes to possible careers. Touring and learning about the many facets of – and specialties within – the field they are studying in school gives our students the awareness they need to visualize their own futures.

And we couldn’t have organized and carried out these trips without Mr. Diebold who called and followed up with the company contacts. And a shout out as well to our chaperones – alumni Marcy Saylor and Michael Trimarchi, student teacher Jesse Sosa, and Advisory Board members George Roberts and John Ford – thank-you!

Thanks Again, Intern Hosts!


We are so grateful to all our outstanding hosts for mentoring the interns this summer. And thanks, also, Ms. Prato, for taking these great portraits! Anyone interested in hosting a student next summer, please get in touch!! Email addresses are on the AOAT website:!

Interns Learning Firsthand About Work


This summer 28 rising seniors are working what is, for most, their first job, while earning school credit for Work Experience. And beyond expanding their skills and preparation for the real world, they are also having a great time! Interns are placed based on their career interests, and this summer there are students at hospitals, a law office, a youth center, a senior center, a fashion boutique, a real estate company, an insurance company, a chamber of commerce, a restaurant, a cupcake bakery, a fitness center…and of course at design companies (our academy career path)! Interns also attend the weekly seminar class at school where each session focuses on transferrable skills such as stress management, time management, job satisfaction, etc. Two weeks down, four to go, so “follow” this newsblog for more stories about our terrific group of young people and their summer journeys…

Class of 2016: Graduation!!


Dressed the part, our beaming grads receive their hard-won diplomas and bid farewell to friends and familiar territory. The next step begins now: college, jobs, independence, careers. Go forth and explore the world, dear Class of ’16, and come back to share your discoveries and inspire those that follow. We are very proud of you!!!

Student Photographers Shoot DTLA


Our spring visit to MOCA got extra fun this week when we asked the students to document their day and post their photos to Instagram. Above is just a small sampling of the creative points of view they shared via social media. Gotta give some props as well to the amazing weather and cloud-bedazzled bluest sky!! We love downtown LA!! See more on Instagram hashtag #mocaaoatwalk1, #mocaaoatwalk2, #mocaaoatwalk3, #mocaaoatwalk4.

Healthy Potluck: Delicious & Nutritious!


Academy Seniors look forward to this tasty cook-off every year, and for the first time the “Mercer Gourmets” beat the “Rosillo Foodies” – but only because we demanded the judges name a winner! Everything was so delicious – and nutritious – that picking the best was impossible. Students had spent the previous two weeks reading “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan, watching “Fed Up”, the documentary about America’s food industry, and keeping a daily log of everything that they ate for a week. Armed with knowledge, they rose to the challenge of preparing a dish that followed the “Rules” and was yummy besides. Way to go, Class of 2016! Live long and eat well!!