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News > Alumni news > Alumni Spotlight: Ian Kumamoto '15

Alumni Spotlight: Ian Kumamoto '15

Ian Kumamoto '15 attended ASB together with his sister, Elizabeth '14. He studied at NYU following high school and founded a youth culture magazine called Chaos+Comrades after graduating in 2019.
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Ian Kumamoto ‘15 attended ASB together with his sister, Elizabeth, who graduated the year before in 2014. Born to a Mayan/Japanese father and a Chinese, mother, Ian was born in Mexico City before moving to Dallas, Texas, when he was 7. The family moved to Barcelona when he was 14. In addition to Spanish and English, Ian also speaks Mandarin.

Can you tell us which university you attended and what you studied?

“New York University, Journalism and Global Liberal Studies.”

How has life been since ASB? What are you up to today?

“It’s been very interesting and tumultuous (lol), but in mostly good ways. While at NYU, I interned at several media companies including Time Out, Quartz, and PBS. I also studied abroad in Shanghai for a semester, which was one of the best experiences of my life. I graduated from NYU in May 2019 and since then, I started a youth culture magazine called Chaos+Comrades (@chaosandcomrades) that covers issues that affect people with marginalized identities (think: LGBTQ, immigrants, etc.) which got 100,000+ unique visits at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement. I’ve also been freelance writing and my articles have recently been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, VICE and other publications.”

What experiences or teachers from ASB inspired who you are today?

“I love this question because there were so many. The people who really stick out in my mind are Lori Lauscher, who was also a mentor to me outside of school, Melissa Leighty, and Michael Hennessy. Honestly, the most magical thing to me about ASB is how your teachers also become mentors and later, friends. They are all really interesting people with fascinating stories. I joined NESDA (the public speaking club) because I’ve always been super introverted and terrified of public speaking. Overcoming my fear of speech was one of the most life-changing and important experiences I could have had. One year, I think it was 2014, we went to compete in Berlin and I won third runner-up, which doesn’t sound that glorious but felt really good because it was something I’ve never been naturally good at.”

What would be a favorite ASB memory?

“Definitely the Halloween Dance in my senior year of High School. We were all so silly and I don’t know if this was unique to my year, but everyone in my class got along so well. We all had the same ironic sense of humor and when you got everyone in a group, it was like this strange symphony of people who were so different but who all loved each other. We couldn’t stop laughing when you put us all in a group, which I can imagine might have been frustrating for some teachers lol. I remember one of my closest friends at the time, Leon, and I opened the Halloween Dance by lip-syncing the national anthem by Beyonce. Just crazy stuff.”

In your opinion, what makes ASB special?

“This might be a tired cliche, but the diversity. Honestly, it’s so special what being surrounded by people from so many different countries can do to your perception of the world. Also, it’s not a cliquey school at all and no one is mean to each other which gives us room to think about other, more important stuff.”

Any advice for ASB high school students?

“Don’t obsess over rigid ideas of success! I think it’s inevitable if you are an ambitious person to fall into certain traps - i.e. thinking IB tests are the most important thing in the world or that the university you attend will make or break your career. That’s absolutely not true. As long as you are genuine, work hard, and have a positive attitude about things, I promise you will get much further in life than someone who is obsessed with labels and big names.”

If you could describe ASB in one word, what would it be?


Anything else you would like to share?

“I just want to say I am eager and happy to connect with any current students who want a career in writing and/or media. I know I would have benefited a lot from more mentorship in those areas since no one in my family worked in a related field. They can visit my personal website ( in case they are interested to see my work."

Once a Lynx, Always a Lynx!
#Lynx4Life #ASBtogether

Contributed: November 2020



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