A 17-year-old student at Oakland Tech in Oakland, Calif., who achieved a 5.0 GPA and 2,100 on the SAT, has received offers from some of America’s top colleges like Yale, Columbia and Brown, leaving some people in shock at his accomplishments.
While friends of 6-foot-1 Rastafarian, Akintunde Ahmad, are celebrating his hard work, the star student athlete notes in a sfgate.com report that he has also gotten used to surprised reactions when people find out about his stellar academic performance.
“People looking at me funny is so common that it doesn’t stick out for me anymore,” says Ahmad. “It’s something that I’ve gotten used to.”
Ahmad says he has received offers to attend college at Yale, Brown, Columbia, Northwestern, the University of Southern California, UCLA, Howard, Chapman, Cal Poly and Cal State East Bay, and has been waitlisted by UC Berkeley and Georgetown.
Some private school students who’ve claimed that his achievements are due to easy classes and lower academic standards at public schools were silenced after seeing his SAT and AP scores.
Even though Ahmad performs well in a variety of sports, this year he chose to focus mainly on baseball. He played basketball for three years before making that move. He hits around .500 who approximately 15 stolen bases and expects to continue playing baseball wherever he goes to college, which is reportedly a toss-up between Yale and Brown.
His mother, Zarina, works as a principal at Piedmont Avenue Elementary School and his father, Mubarak, has worked as a mechanic at AC Transit for 20 years. They practice Rastafarianism and say they work as hard as they need to to keep their children on the right path.
Unfortunately, however, not all of their children have taken Ahmad’s path.
His older brother Azeem was sentenced to 41 months in prison in March 2013 after he was caught carrying guns in a federal sting operation in 2012.
The star-student said two months before the sting operation he had declined an invitation from his brother to hang out at a friend’s house, because he had to complete and essay for school. Five people were later shot at the house including his brother who was shot twice.
“We got the same mother, the same father, just a different path,” he said. “I feel like it’s a setback for him, but sometimes it takes that kind of shock to grab your attention.”
“There’s plenty of people I know who have been killed,” he said. “I could write a list starting in elementary school of all the people we grew up with who have been killed.”
“I could have easily been caught up in that life. You don’t have to be a bad person to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.