In a two-day summit on inclusivity in the entertainment industry, two Exceptional Minds alumni made a huge impact with their views and experiences among a-list artists, filmmakers, and more.

The Variety Changemakers summit took place on June 17th and 18th and EM Alumni Xavier Romo and Kate Jorgensen were speakers on the panel “Elevating Diverse Abilities in Entertainment Production.”  Following the panel, Variety magazine highlighted their panel as the lead take-away from the two-day summit.

Both Xavier and Kate spoke candidly about their career experiences and being on the spectrum. From interviews and self-identification preferences to adapting and opportunities in the industry, both had insightful stories and opinions to share. “(at Marvel) I had never really been given a chance like that. to work to that level, the energy going into it was to put 100% and show them everything that I was capable of…which I was using at Exceptional Minds too,” Xavier said. “I wanted to make my department look as good as we can, and that is so big for me.” Xavier went on to explain that he is not defined by his autism, that is just part of what makes him unique and capable.

Kate and Xavier communicated how their journeys made them see more opportunities for inclusivity in the production industry and the content that comes out of it. They both also spoke about the support and skills that Exceptional Minds has provided. To see the full interview with the panelist, visit HERE.

Exceptional Minds, a California non-profit of the year, is an academy and studio preparing young adults on the autism spectrum for careers in animation, visual effects, 3D gaming, and other related fields in the entertainment industry. Exceptional Minds provides critical technical and work readiness training customized to help its students achieve their full artistic and professional potential, creating a new pipeline of talented artists, and fostering inclusive hiring practices. Exceptional Minds and its partners are building a future where neurodiverse perspectives are vital to the advancement of a more empowered and inclusive society.