by KELLY GUSICH | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Trying to Find Balance

At 11, Emily Kogan moved from New Jersey to Carmel Valley. Her favorite thing about the area is its proximity to everything. A sophomore at CCA, Emily loves how her teachers have pushed her and made her more interested in pursuing her studies, but as far as subjects go, she loves the sciences the most. “I love learning about genetics especially,” she said. “I think it’s amazing that a whole human being comes out of a code of DNA made up of only four main building blocks!”

student2This summer Emily attended the Congress of Future Scientists and Technologists in Boston. She got a chance to hear from many successful scientists, including Nobel Laureates, entrepreneurs, inventors, and researchers. The speech she found most relevant was given by scientist and researcher Dr. J. Craig Venter – a fellow San Diegan. His genetics research really struck her. “My mouth was hanging open the whole time!” she exclaimed. “I want to make equally monumental additions to the fields of science and technology.”

Aside from her studies, Emily loves to have fun. She’s part of the prestigious dance program at CCA, currently in the advanced class. “I absolutely love to perform!” She’s also vice president of the Pennies 4 Pets club at school and volunteers with the Helen Woodward Animal Shelter. Her perfectionistic tendencies and curiosity keep her busy and happy. She taught herself how to edit videos over the summer and learned to code in Java. This resulted in her making some funny short movies of penguins dancing. She also is learning to animate pictures just by writing code. “I’m just curious about how everything works,” Emily laughed, “and love learning new interesting facts or tidbits.” She’d like to thank her parents, school teachers, gymnastics coaches, and dance teachers “for shaping me into the person I am today and pushing me to always be motivated in everything I do.”


Her perfectionistic tendencies and curiosity keep her busy and happy.

Emily hopes for a future in biomedicine and genetics. “I find it fascinating,” she shared, “and I believe you can really help people and humanity through studying science.” Emily would like to share this advice with other students: “I know a lot of you feel the pressure to know exactly what you want to do in life, get perfect grades, and things like that. My advice is just to find what you like and stick with it – but be a kid while you can!”

Name: Emily Kogan (16)
School: Canyon Crest Academy
Grade: 10
Parents: Svetlana and Vadim Kogan
Siblings: Ariana (10) and Leonid (24)
Favorite Local Spots: My gym and dance studio! Also, I love going to the beach, the mall, the skating rink, or anywhere I can with my friends when I have free time.