In the 106-year history of his institution, an 18-year-old is the first Black male valedictorian.
Ahmed Muhammad is a California high school student at Oakland Technical High School. He will graduate on May 26 with a 4.73 GPA, and depending on how his final few classes go, he may even graduate with a 5.0.
He told “Good Morning America” that he was “very delighted.” “I consider myself fortunate.”
Muhammad has taken 13 advanced placement classes at Oakland Tech, as well as many college classes at his local community college, in addition to his regular course load.
The results of his efforts are visible. Muhammad applied to 11 institutions and was accepted to all of them: five divisions of the University of California, the University of Southern California, Howard, Columbia, Princeton, Harvard, and Stanford.
He said, “I didn’t think that was going to happen.” “Because you can only go to one college, I would have been glad to get into just one.”
Muhammad eventually decided to attend Stanford University, making him the first member of his family to complete a college education. He intends to dabble in a variety of engineering fields.
He said, “There’s so much great stuff to learn.” “I’m going to do my best to study everything I can.”
“Ultimately, produce something that can benefit the community and the planet as a whole,” he says.
“I’m really thrilled,” Ahmed’s father, Rahman Muhammad, told “GMA.” “He worked quite hard.”
Muhammad is a member of the varsity basketball team and volunteers for tutoring, the Oakland Youth Advisory Commission, and his charity science program, Kits Cubed, in addition to his studies.
“It has definitely been challenging to juggle,” Muhammad said of balancing academics and extracurriculars while still staying ahead. He added that it takes a lot of “early mornings and long evenings.”
What has made it easier for him is a strong desire to succeed in everything he does.
“Everything I do is something I enjoy, so it doesn’t feel like a duty or something I have to push through,” he explained.
“One of the most important things that helped me in high school was attempting to learn from as many people, locations, and ideas as I possibly could,” Muhammad advised other kids. “Having a growth mentality can help you progress as a student because you’ll be attempting to absorb as much material as possible.”
“It also helps you grow as a person,” he added, “by making you more compassionate and caring about others.” “All you have to do is try to improve yourself and others around you.”
Making a college selection has allowed Muhammad to “move forward” and spend energy on his other passion projects, such as Kits Cubed, which tries to introduce children to the joys of science, he added.
In April of 2020, Muhammad came up with the idea for the NGO. When he was babysitting his niece and nephew one day, he asked if they wanted to perform some science experiments, but they said they didn’t like science and had never done one before.
“That struck a chord with me since I don’t recall completing a science experiment until maybe middle or high school,” Muhammad explained. “That made me realize that, yes, there is a deficiency. There is no introduction at this young age to the importance of falling in love with ideas.”
He then went on to research and construct experiments that could be done using common home materials like a potato battery, a pop rocket, and a sundial, and packaged them into kits that families could buy for a fair price.
“That’s the quality I like most in my son: he’s a giver. He is deeply concerned about the welfare of others “Muhammad’s father expressed his thoughts.
What started as a one-person operation selling kits door-to-door has grown into a major organization that holds giveaways, donates kits, and has dispersed thousands of them around the country.
Muhammad’s current focus is on using Kits Cubed to help his local community, while he hopes to grow in the future.
“I’m a product of Oakland, and bringing science kits to the same schools that I went, the same school district where I was molded, is something I’d really like to do,” he added. “We have no intention of stopping anytime soon.”