Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are looking into aiding LA high schoolers in creating their blueprint to success. It comes with their new collaboration with Adidas and PENSOLE and their broadened, multi-faceted disciplinary curriculum for LA high schools.
Adidas, PENSOLE, and the Iovine and Young Academy held sets of “Wood U” workshops at USC, where Inglewood students created sneakers inspired by ambition, power, and love. The Iovine and Young Academy was founded in 2013 at the University of Southern California by the Beats co-founders dedicated to college students looking for integrated design, business, and technology degrees.
Dr. Edwards fostered the students from various “Wood U” design brackets to the sun-drenched stage to see for themselves what the shoes they designed looked like—including black Superstar sneakers with green and red tongues and laces developed by the “power” cohort. It was then displayed in LA Adidas stores on February 7.
One student from the crowd said, “I felt very proud when I first saw the shoes.” While one stated, “When I first saw the shoes, I was impressed because I didn’t expect them to turn out as good as they were.”
“We’d put a core value up on the board, and a kid would associate a color with it. And the way he described it, you could kind of see it,” Grammy-nominated rapper and Inglewood local D Smoke told a media outlet recounting his observation with a student associating color with each attribute.
He continued, “So, if it’s like, let’s say, strength, he would be like, ‘I believe strength is purple.’ And if we’re talking about designing shoes or designing anything, how to utilize colors to make people feel a certain way—he’s so far ahead. I’m 36 years old, and I’m blown away by this kid.”
In the “Wood U” campaign video, the rapper, who teaches at Inglewood High School and named his first EP after it, says, “Imagine if creativity was actually taught. Because up until now, it hasn’t. The old-school mentality doesn’t fit today’s curriculum. Kids can’t explore creative careers today because the system needs to be reimagined.”
And that’s precisely what Dre and Iovine envision to do with the new high school they are creating in September 2022 with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), temporarily called Regional High School No. 1.
The new school will be established similarly to Audubon Middle School. It will have 120 spots for the 9th and 10th graders for the 2022–2023 academic year. Regional High School No. 1 will follow under the Iovine and Young Academy’s rare, innovative approach to design education, via hands-on, real-world training, in addition, offering a cutting-edge college-prep curriculum.