Brad Frederick “I can’t tell you how excited I am to be at the Academy. It’s a ‘dream’ environment that’ll help me build dreams for my family.”

He’s a self-taught webmaster wizard, and what he creates with his computers is nothing short of magic ( But as Brad Frederick’s fingers fly over the keyboards and visual realities take shape in the ethers, the real magic in Brad’s life can often be heard cooing in her nearby crib. “Our daughter, Jaden, is the love of my life,” says Brad. “When she was born, I was waiting tables and my wife went back to work. It looked like everything was going to be just fine.” But then reality came crashing down. Literally.

“I fell twice at work and got pretty badly injured, so the money just wasn’t there,” recalls the new father. “My wife and I realized that this was a crisis: freelance web design just wasn’t going to cut it. And then a friend of mine told me about SMC and the Academy of Entertainment & Technology, and he was just adamant that I go there.” And Brad reports that when he walked through the Academy doors, “It was one of the best moments of my life.”

“The first person that I met was David Javelosa. I didn’t have an appointment or anything but he immediately sat down and looked at my work. I mean, I’d been worried about how I could support my family over two years of school. But David just said, ‘Oh, this stuff is great! We’ll just start you in the second year of the program.’ And it just blew me away,” says Brad. “I felt like I’d been given the gift of a whole year.” Now deeply immersed in interactive media, animation, and an entire ‘menu’ of challenging programs, Brad looks forward to creating universes in the studios that’ll provide the future he wants for his family. “Bottom line,” he says, “when I really needed a break, SMC was there.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.