40 under 40 — Simon Liang
Omega Alpha, 2015 — Recognized in: 2018
Simon Liang, a 2015 graduate from the University of Chicago, has had a tremendous impact on his chapter and community both during and after his time at school. A founding member of the Omega Alpha chapter, Simon served as Alpha Phi for two years and greatly boosted morale and chapter operations with his constantly positive outlook. One of the biggest lessons Simon learned through his service as chapter vice president was that building and nourishing relationships is one of the most effective techniques a leader can practice.
“I learned to be a leader and supportive pillar to my fellow brothers with whom I shared a lot of my later years with at the University of Chicago. This experience has taught me better time management and that nourishing relationships with people near and far are important in understanding the world around me.”
During his time as an undergraduate, Simon was also appointed vice president of service of Alpha Phi Omega, a national coed service fraternity. While occupying these roles, Simon was able to plan a benefit concert in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He also supported numerous other philanthropic endeavors in the Chicago area.
“The motivation for this event was to support philanthropic work that coincided with Zeta Psi’s views on empowering and transforming the lives of others through meaningful work and service to others. Zete Kids offered a template and network of individuals that I could reach out to so that I could learn how to successfully plan a philanthropic program. My roles as Alpha Phi and philanthropy chair, as well as my membership in Alpha Phi Omega, helped set a foundation for me to understand philanthropy so that I can inspire others to support people in ways that are beyond the scope of their day-to-day duties. When planning events on this scale, many difficulties and obstacles may occur. My advice for anyone planning philanthropic events is to reach out to the local community, whether it be soup kitchens, schools, after school programs and others in the city or town in which your institution is located. This is the first step in developing relationships that will live on after your time as a student.”
This foundation of service inspired Simon to become involved in other initiatives following his graduation. Simon eventually began supporting local projects such as the Corazon a Corazon after school program, the Southside Hub of Production, and the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club on the South Side of Chicago. At the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, Simon was active in tutoring young students in math and science.
Now living in Boston, Simon continues to support Chicagoland teachers in engaging students to explore STEM-related fields with his direct contributions.