The 35U began with a vision to inspire the leaders of tomorrow by telling them about the leaders of today. With millions of people involved in government, education, business and community service across the country, it sometimes may be hard for the 35U to connect to leaders individually simply due to an age barrier. The 35U to us is any young adult from the ages of 18-35 in this country. These individuals have a voice – they can vote, serve, and most importantly, they can make a difference for future generations.

Today’s Q&A feature is Tiffany Yau, Founder and CEO of Fulphil. Fulphil mission is to empower the youth to pursue their passions through entrepreneurship on the micro scale within cities to create a collectively broader effect. Tiffany is a current graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, pursuing a dual degree in M.S. Nonprofit Leadership (Cl ‘19) while holding her B.A. in Sociology, concentrating in Health and Medicine (Cl ‘18). Tiffany is a dedicated leader passionate about creating sustainable social impact through social entrepreneurship and more importantly, empowering people. She’s been nominated for the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award and also recognized by Generocity, Social Innovation Journal, Philadelphia Citizen, Wharton Business Radio, and Penn News as a leader of social entrepreneurship.

Tiffany is an inspiration to the youth that want to get involved in Entrepreneurship. We caught up with Tiffany to find out what leadership means to her and what advice she would give to the next generation of leaders.

Why did you choose this career path?

I stumbled upon my career path of being a social entrepreneur just a little more than two years ago during my third year studying at Penn. Up until then, I was a lost college student navigating different career paths ranging from medicine, to law, to research. I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do and found a Campus Director position for the Hult Prize Foundation. It is an organization that promotes the launch of social enterprises emerging from universities to focus on the world’s toughest social challenges. During the process of promoting Hult Prize at Penn, I found myself captivated by the greater meaning in social entrepreneurship and the impact and influence that I’ve made through my own curated programming. From there, I decided to pursue a Master’s at Penn in Nonprofit Leadership and continued to launch programs to inspire the youth through social entrepreneurship, reaching university students throughout the Ivy League and all over Philadelphia.

Who inspired you to get involved?

The biggest inspiration in my entrepreneurship journey can’t be traced to a single person but rather in the young people of our generation as a whole. This began with the university teams from my time as a Campus Director for Hult Prize. I was able to fund to travel to competitions to pitch their ideas. At the time, I was motivated to help them with their inspiring startups to create impact on the world. When they returned from their competition sites, ranging from Boston, San Francisco, London, Shanghai, and Dubai, they recounted the opportunity as the best they’ve ever had. To date, they are still pursuing careers in the social impact scene. Witnessing their motivation, tenacity, genuineness to want to make a difference—and having the fortunate opportunity of being part of that journey—is really what inspires me most.

How do you define a leader?

I believe a leader is defined by qualities of vision, compassion, resilience. A great leader is someone who not only strongly sees thing as how they could be, but more importantly, someone who is able to inspire others around her to adopt the same lens and join forces. Compassion is another quality that is also very important—we must lead with kindness and a sense of humility. Most importantly, I believe a leader is someone who does not give up and always puts her best foot forward to persevere.

What projects are you currently involved with in the community that engages the next generation of leaders?

I’m the founder of Fulphil and Hult Prize Ivy. Fulphil is the driving force of social entrepreneurship in Philadelphia, helping students create ventures that have a positive impact on the city. We empower youth entrepreneurs and college students to solve their city’s most pressing social issues. Some of the brightest minds and most motivated people for social change are college students with resources from amazing institutions. This was partly inspired by work I’ve done for the Hult Prize. I launched Hult Prize Ivy, which brings together Ivy League university students together to compete to solve the world’s most pressing social problems through social entrepreneurship. Upon winning Hult Prize Ivy, the first place team has the chance to advance to the world’s largest accelerator program and compete at the United Nations for the chance to win $1M USD.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders who want to get involved?

“Just do it.” While these are words borrowed from Nike, I believe this is the best piece of advice. We hesitate too often to take action and pursue opportunities to help us fulfill our potential due to the fear of failure or perhaps that it’s not the right time. The best time is always now.