Allen Su is a first-year student at UCLA who is studying Economics and Public Affairs. He works with political campaigns and debates competitively. Allen co-founded YAPA because he wanted to educate high schoolers about local government. Despite the fact that local government affects our daily lives and play a major role in implementing most state and federal decisions, not enough people teach about how local governments function. Allen hopes to engage younger generations to solve problems and advocate for themselves and for other people.
Liang is a changemaker. She advocated for parents on school issues and eventually brought a change in leadership in Cupertino Union School District to be more open to parents’ and teachers’ concerns. Through grassroots campaigning, she motivated citizens to take charge of the course of Cupertino’s future through initiatives, referenda, and elections. Liang earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton University and taught at Iowa State University for 4 years. After moving to Silicon Valley, her work focused on optimizing compilers for hardware accelerators for central processing units in mobile phones and computers. Recently, she advises companies on technical trends for the internet-of-things, maker movement, and artificial intelligence for education products.
Sophia Kao is a social entrepreneur and former Board Trustee for Saratoga Union School District. She held various engineering and management positions for High Tech companies before discovering her passion for youth development and education innovation. She is a leader and advocate for learning innovation with a focus on 21st-century skills, and has been building and serving on various education startups and community non-profit organizations for the past two decades. She co-founded YAPA to promote civic education and engagement for the next generation.