Anthony Longo: student doctor, educator, mentor
Anthony first had inspiration for Real World Academy in high school, in which he saw how an outdated and un-engaging curriculum alienates students. He graduated in 2009 as Valedictorian of his class, but he was unhappy with the dichotomy of "honors" and "non-honors" students. Attending Cornell University as an undergraduate, Anthony participated in collaborative research (developing novel pesticides that elicit renal failure in deadly mosquitoes) and served as a teaching assistant (gathering overwhelmingly positive reviews from students). These were Anthony's first exposures to research and teaching. Graduating Cornell in 2013 as Magna Cum Laude with Distinction in All Subjects, Anthony declined offers from other medical schools specifically to attend Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, which is centered in Newark, New Jersey, a city that is infamously underserved both medically and scholastically. Then-Mayor of Newark Cory Booker's galvanizing speech at his Cornell Commencement evaporated any of Anthony's doubts on his choice and inspired him to apply the skills he learned at Cornell to solving Newark's crises. While studying medicine, Anthony rediscovered the original meaning of the word "doctor," which is "teacher." Helping co-found a highly successful one-on-one Newark high school mentoring program for medical students, Anthony is continually inspired to bring education into the 21st century, proving that it can be done even in Newark. When Anthony contacted Cory Booker on social media, the Senator turned the tables and said, "You inspire me." Drawing on this energy, Anthony hopes to become a compassionate physician as well as a positive force in the field of education.
Domenico Randazzo: music producer, performer, visionary
Domenico Randazzo is a music producer as well as solo act, performing simply as DOMENICO. As the virtuoso instrumentalist son of two well-respected physicians, Domenico Randazzo's youth consisted of easy living, with a secure financial and emotional infrastructure, in the form of a supportive family and a built-in home recording studio. Unlike Domenico, most adolescents are not born equipped with tens of thousands of dollars of professional equipment at their disposal. Lacking clear direction and resources, students often become ensnared in the social hierarchy of high school and resort to foolish behavior in order to gain attention. Domenico experienced firsthand the bitter end of this attention-craving subculture. As a scrawny, red-headed introspective artist, he was repeatedly overlooked. Domenico channeled his negative energy towards curing this social ailment through art, design, and mentorship. He is committed to eliminating the over-saturation of well-roundedness and strict social boundaries within high schools. Domenico recently had the honor of giving a TEDx Talk on this subject, and how Real World Academy, along with his his production company, il Dottore, will solve it. He has played the Apollo Theater and the Stone Pony and has had commercial collaborations with the Disco Fries, all before the age of 18.
Our work in education began as an interesting combination of art (Domenico) and science (Anthony). We do not think this is a coincidence.
Danielle Codey: teacher, mentor
Danielle Codey is a New Jersey high school English teacher who is known for her passion for bringing student interests to the forefront of her classroom. She has run highly successful art integration projects as well as incorporated Real World experiences in the classroom. She has written cross-disciplinary curriculum and has received multiple grants and acknowledgments for her work. Danielle looks forward to the bright future of education in Real World Academy.
Michael DePalma: entrepreneur, technologist
Currently President of Pensare LLC, Organizer of TEDx Morristown, Co-founder of The Human API, Editor in Chief of Brainfoodtv.com, active chef for Highlands Dinner Club (HDC), husband, father, (terrible) ice hockey player, aspiring author, (decent) musician. Michael is a transformational and innovative technology, business, and sales leader with 15 years of executive level strategic, technical, leadership and business development experience. He is recognized for being a collaborative hands-on leader who is driven, passionate, energetic, results oriented, and highly impactful; particularly in high growth and fast paced environments. Michael's efforts within Real World Academy are to provide unique initiatives for students to engage in their passions and inspire creativity amongst peers, thus improving the state of high school engagement with the surrounding community. His specialties include establishing connections between high schools and surrounding businesses across a variety of industries, though largely focused on health science and education.
Nick Ditri: producer, label owner, entrepreneur
Nicholas Ditri may be most known for his involvement in the Disco Fries production and performance duo. Under the moniker, the ‘Fries have successfully toured the world, have had numerous certified platinum selling records, and co-produced a Top 20 Billboard hit with Tiesto’s “Wasted.” Nick has been spearheading the brand with his partner Daniel Boselovic for over 8 years since the two met in a dorm room in college and they have recently signed to Universal Records on the heels of their massive independent push. As a Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate from Berklee College of Music, Nick has made his passion a reality. From instrumental involvement with helping to create the brand of Liftoff Recordings, a successful independent record label with over 30 releases to date, to engaging in his own diversified investment portfolio, Nick is a self-admitted addict to success and long-term financial growth. His love of the arts has fueled him to assist up-and-coming artists and entrepreneurs with a goal to help refine ideas, develop targeted marketing strategies, and collaborate to shape the next generation of creative leadership.