An 18-year-old valedictorian from California has been offered a place at all 11 universities he applied to. After considering his options, including Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford, he revealed his choice on live television.
Ahmed Muhammad, a senior at Oakland Technical High, picked Stanford. Ahmed has a cumulative 4.73 grade point average and is on target for a 5.0 in his senior year.
Just 24 hours before revealing his choice, Ahmed was prepared to relocate to the East Coast: Harvard was top of his list. However, he opted to stay in the Bay Area, reported KTVU’s “The Nine.”
“They’re all amazing schools, but I decided that the best university for me for these next four years is Stanford University,” Ahmed, the first in his family to attend college, told KTVU’s The Nine.
“Stanford’s always been a dream for me.”
An entrepreneur, volunteer tutor, and athlete, Ahmed has played point guard for the Oakland Tech Bulldogs varsity boys basketball team since sophomore year, the report said.
Besides school and sports, the teen also found time to launch a nonprofit during the 2020 lockdown.
Noticing his niece Ayla and nephew Ahmeer’s reservations in science-based subjects, Ahmed felt compelled to help boost their confidence, reported the KTVU.
His nonprofit, Kits Cubed, sells and donates affordable science kits geared toward elementary and middle school students.
Hundreds of kits have been distributed to Oakland grade schools and thousands across the country.
“I wanted to make these kits simple because then kids would actually be able to understand what they’re doing, and start to build a conceptual understanding of the scientific world around them,” he told KTVU in a previous interview.
For Ahmed, the scientific method is also a metaphor for life. “People are too afraid to make mistakes, to mess up,” he said.
“In science, you have to mess up in order to eventually become successful. Science teaches young kids that mistakes are simply a part of learning.”
Going forward, the teen plans to study in the field of engineering.
The young man credits his parents—his father, a retired fire captain, and mother, a Cambodian immigrant, who started a real estate business together—for showing him the love and support he needs to realize his dreams.
“My parents did a good job of showing me that whatever dreams that are out there I can see myself accomplishing, then I can accomplish it, and there’s a path to it,” he said.
“Being a role model for the younger generation is my way of giving back, and my way of inspiring them in the same way that I was inspired by those who are older than me. I know how important it is as a little kid to have someone to look up to.”
Ahmed advises others to keep their own dreams in sight and work hard, every day; mutual love and support for the people around you is crucial, he says.
With a promising future path laid before him already, the talented teen remains committed to his hometown, hoping that whatever skills he gains will help him give back to Oakland in even bigger and better ways.
“I hope I can leave Oakland better than how I found it,” he told KTVU. “It’s already an amazing place, I just want to play my part in contributing.”