Giving Back Through Student Leadership

Olaa Ahmed ’22 has embraced an astounding number of leadership roles on campus and is one of the most active and passionate members of the George School community.

The Baum Harris ’52 Scholarship made attending George School a reality for Olaa and her family. “I am so thankful that this scholarship brought me to George School. I feel like it is my job to make George School a better place while I am here and after I leave. Leaving an imprint is important to me. Giving back to the community is my way of showing thanks for the opportunity Baum Harris ’52 created.”

After her sophomore year, Olaa knew that she wanted to take on the mantle of student leadership. “I originally came to George School for the academic rigor and wanted to focus all of my attention on being a good student. During freshman year, I started to learn more about opportunities to get involved and began to explore things a bit more during sophomore year. Unfortunately, a tragic accident, combined with the start of the pandemic disrupted sophomore year and I was not able to do as much as I had hoped. I knew that junior year was my chance to take charge and to make the most out of my time on campus,” said Olaa. “The George School experience is what you make it, and I knew that this was my chance to redefine my experience. I try to give my best effort to everything I commit to without stretching myself too thin. It can be tough, especially with taking several AP classes, but I see it as my job as a campus leader to make sure that student voices get heard and to give it my all.”

Olaa is a member of the Discipline Committee, was elected to Student Council, serves on the Junior class Executive Committee, is a Tour Ambassador, was chosen to be a Lead Tour Ambassador next year, and has been selected to be a Prefect in Central Main. Olaa joined the Student Activities Board upon the onset of COVID-19. “At the beginning of the pandemic, the idea of being stuck on campus with strict safety restrictions was daunting for boarders, so I decided to volunteer for the Student Activities Board because it made me feel happy to be a part of bringing joy to campus,” explained Olaa. “I particularly liked serving food because I think that food brings a lot of happiness.” She is extremely proud of what she has accomplished during a demanding junior year.

Olaa is not afraid to push the administration and fight for the student voice to be considered in the decision-making process. “My goal is to make George School better. No campus is perfect. Students live the experience every day and have a unique perspective on policy decisions that impact us the most. As a student leader, I feel it is my responsibility to speak out and speak up for students. We are not afraid to add our voices to the discussion. I have enjoyed the challenge of presenting to administrators, to teachers during faculty meetings, and even meeting with Sam to discuss issues, finding common ground that makes everyone feel heard and valued.”

“As the first daughter of an Egyptian immigrant, my Mom was hesitant for me to live away from home,” continued Olaa. “We decided to take a chance and pushed cultural boundaries in coming here. Through this experience, I learned the importance of pushing boundaries, which is something that I like to do as a student leader—to challenge the status quo in order to make campus a better place. George School is constantly changing, but the core of the School will always be the same. I am confident that when I come back as an alumna, the community will feel the same to me and I will feel as welcome as I did the first time I arrived on campus. George School is a truly diverse school, and even though I am the only Egyptian student on campus, I always feel at home.”

Olaa is excited for senior year and the new opportunities that await to be involved and give back. “I will be a Prefect in Central Main and although it will be sad transitioning off the Discipline Committee and Student Activities Board, I am looking forward to the opportunity,” she said. “I am also excited to continue my work on the class Executive Committee and am working to collaborate with Westtown on some cool interscholastic initiatives.”

When asked about life after George School, Olaa responded, “I see myself as a STEM student, so I am thinking of studying Engineering or something science-related. I recently applied for the QuestBridge program and made it into the first phase. Hopefully, I will make it through the program and will get matched with a great school. George School has given me so many great opportunities to give back, and I know that I will continue to find ways to make an impact after George School.”