Getting a headstart at UPENN with previous leadership skills


While some people struggle with the transition process into university, Diamond Bar High School class of 2022 alumni Akash George and Kevin Yang are thriving in their new environment. 

Despite only being freshmen at one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world, the two officers are already making plans for the betterment of the school, tailoring it to the interests of the students they represent.

Prior to their attendance at the University of Pennsylvania, the two had accumulated years of leadership experience during their time at DBHS. George was the captain of the boys varsity swim team as well as the former class president of USB, and Yang was co-president of the California Scholarship Federation club.

“You have to believe in yourself entirely to have others believe in you,” Yang said via Instagram. “I felt that [leading] would be a rewarding challenge to learn a lot of negotiation and people skills from.”

Under Yang’s co-leadership, CSF organized more events and doubled their club membership in the past academic year.

“Leadership is always difficult, and there is always going to be some form of disagreement among leaders,” Yang said via Instagram. “Being more compromising rather than argumentative has helped me resolve conflicts effectively.”

During UPenn’s election period, the two alumni fostered support by handing out flyers and sharing posts over several social media platforms.

To familiarize themselves with the student population, they also took the opportunity to chat with students passing by on campus. Meticulous control over how often they sent advertisement posts or how much they spent performing promotional activities, though difficult, proved crucial to their campaigns. Through this process, they became acquainted with many friends who supported their campaign, some of which were on the Class Board.

“Gathering votes was definitely the most difficult part of becoming class chair, but I had faith in myself and mentally embodied the values and aspirations of UPenn’s class of 2026,” Yang said. “I was genuine and passionate about becoming College Chair so I could improve student mental health and on-campus comfort, and I really wanted to work with my friends on

the class board.”

As a member of the College Chair, Yang oversees the organization of schoolwide events with the Class Board. His main duty, however, is to preside over the student activities of UPenn’s College of Arts and Sciences—one of the four schools alongside the Wharton School of Business, the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Nursing.

Shouldering many similar responsibilities, George looks after the School of Business. He plans student events and activities for the institution as a part of Wharton Chair while simultaneously learning analytical, financial, entrepreneurial and leadership skills as a student.

“I plan to use school funding to create increased access to dining, mental health support, and academic tutoring services,” Yang said. “UPenn isn’t a perfect school but getting to know different students and their complaints about UPenn gave me the true confidence to address these concerns.”