18 May Sabrina Kay MBA ’05
Sabrina Kay has led a diverse professional life as a serial entrepreneur, tech educator, fashion designer, philanthropist and public speaker. Her success is all the more remarkable given her beginnings as a poor, non-English-speaking South Korean immigrant and single mother. After dropping out of college, Kay founded what is now known as the Art Institute of California-Hollywood, the nation’s first school for computer-aided fashion design. Kay later sold the institute and turned to philanthropy.
Kay is the founder of the Sabrina Kay Charitable Foundation, which initially had two main projects: building a homeless shelter with educational programs for women and children, and developing a mentoring and internship program for fashion students. Since that time, Kay has served on more than 30 charitable and civic boards, including the International Medical Corps Leadership Council, and currently chairs the After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles.
Balancing her philanthropic efforts and entrepreneurial projects, Kay has founded six additional businesses, including Fremont College. Under her leadership as chancellor and CEO, Fremont College bridges the gap between the classroom and the 21st-century workplace through pre- and post-employment training.
Kay’s achievements have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Fashion Guild’s Visionary Award, the United Nations Global Goals Award and APAA’s 2018 Leadership Award. She is also a sought-after keynote speaker who spoke at the USC Marshall School of Business commencement in 2017.
In 2005, Kay earned her MBA from USC Marshall. She also holds an MS in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a joint doctorate degree in work-based learning from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and the Wharton School of Business.