By Kayvon Asemani
Ever since I was a young boy, I have had this unwavering confidence that I could do anything I imagined. I have always believed in myself. But ever since I was a baby, I was neglected by my father. When I was 9 years old, I lost my mother to a tragedy. No matter how much I believed in myself, I was losing every bit of support. I was just an innocent kid trying to reach success; it seemed as if success was not trying to reach me.
Fortunately, a family friend led me and my siblings to an institution called the Milton Hershey School that is devoted to helping underprivileged children. My ambition mixed with the opportunities that this place provided allowed me to achieve my most significant accomplishment to date—getting accepted into the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Everyone, no matter what his or her circumstances, deserves to have an equal opportunity to achieve success. My goal is to help create a world where that will become a possibility. Wharton is the perfect place to achieve this dream.
I am very excited to be immersed in an environment full of amazing students and to learn from all of the collective intelligence my peers have gained from their experiences before Penn. It will be thrilling to experience this journey with my classmates and the upperclassmen. I look forward to an opportunity to step away from the spotlight and leadership roles for once in my life and learn from other people who have so much to teach.
View the photo set above from New Student Orientation to see Kayvon and his classmates forge the first bonds that will last a lifetime.
Please allow me to make one thing clear: Leadership is one of my deepest passions. I served in the Student Government Association through all four years of high school and became student body president my senior year. I have been a leader, and I plan on continuing to be one. At Wharton, I plan on getting involved in many activities and clubs while also allowing adequate time for study. Over time, I want to get involved in many leadership and service opportunities at Penn and, within the community at large, become a better contributor to society. The clubs that interest me most are those related to entrepreneurship. I believe that developing an understanding of how to start, run and maintain a business is more important than being the most talented or knowledgeable person in your particular field(s) of business. Once I gain this knowledge, I will recruit the talent needed to make sure that the services I provide in my multifaceted business are at their very best. There is a whole world of people out there. Fortunately, I do not have to go very far to find incredible talent.
The sole purpose of the reference to my personal life at the beginning of this essay was not to be pitied. All of those early hardships are over. I overcame those obstacles years ago. I realize, too, people have overcome larger obstacles than I have, and unfortunately as I write this, others are going through more difficult struggles and still have not seen any success. All they need—and all I ever needed—was an opportunity. Despite my unfortunate circumstances, I was able to achieve something huge with an opportunity that complemented my hard work and dedication. This is a message to all of us out there who have struggled—proof that with hard work, we can find opportunities and live the success of our wildest dreams.
This is also a message to Wharton alumni, asking you to join me in this mission of allowing motivated and passionate people the opportunity to succeed. Offer no handouts, just opportunities.
Kayvon Asemani is a freshman at Wharton from Baltimore. He is studying Economics and looking for other concentrations to complement his degree. He enjoys service and creating music and hopes to incorporate those interests into his studies through his involvement in the Civic Scholar program and his website www.kayvonmusic.com.