African-American, dreadlocked and a product of inner city Oakland, 17-year-old Akintunde Ahmad is someone who society might overlook. His appearance might garner him the nickname of “thug” among some circles, but Ahmad is anything but. He’s a perfect student and he’s on his way to the Ivy League.
While Ahmad did come from an educated home – his mother is an elementary principal – his life has not been one of privilege. Not only have people made false assumptions about him because of his appearance, but he has first-hand experience with the sometimes brutality of Oakland city life. He’s witnessed several shootings and he came close to being a victim. ?He was only saved by the fact that he didn’t go to a party because he had to stay home to write an essay. His brother, who had invited him to the party, was among five who got shot that night.
Ahmad is a product of public schools, yet he maintained a 5.0 GPA and he scored an astonishing 2100 on his SATs. He has his choice of Ivy League schools, but he has narrowed down his choices to Yale or Brown and study either pre-med or pre-law. Just in case you think that’s not enough of an accomplishment, Ahmad plays three instruments and has been offered baseball scholarships.
Still, people question his accomplishments simply because of his appearance. In fact, he keeps pictures of his grades and his SAT scores on his cell phone as proof.