John’s interest in animation began from eighth grade, in a class in part dedicated to teaching game design. Following into highschool, this interest was kindled by the computer magnet program at Thomas Jefferson high school. This was a sort of sub-category of electives that would branch off to either web-design, broadcast media, programming, or 3D animation and design. This turned out to be just the right fit, as sophomore through senior year was a program similar in layout to the way the DAC is, but on a smaller scale. Thomas Jefferson’s 3D department also gave the opportunity to compete in SkillsUSA competitions every year at a local, state, and national level.
After coming in second place in state to some iffy judging decisions, he went on the next year to win state level, and compete at the SkillsUSA nationals in Kansas City, Missouri in 2014, ultimately winning 1st place and being only the second team from the school to ever place in the top ten, and the first team to even come close to bringing home the gold. Towards the end of senior year at TJ, John was informed of a program called the DAC, and the pieces fell into place. It was a next logical step to continue the teachings this unique high school program had offered.