Akintunde Ahmed, a high school senior with a 5.0 GPA who has already been accepted to multiple ivy league schools, gets books out of his locker before heading to his first class of the day at Oakland Technical High School in Oakland, CA, Wednesday April 2, 2014. Photo: Michael Short, The Chronicle
By Dawn Boykin
Akintunde Ahmad’s future could have turned out like any other young black male growing up in the East Oakland streets, but it is amazingly quite different.
There is much to be celebrated for this 17-year old Oakland Tech High student who has been accepted to numerous top tier schools including; Yale, Brown, Columbia, Northwestern, USC, UCLA, Howard, Chapman, Cal Poly and Cal State East Bay.
Akintude has a 5.0 GPA and a 2100 (out of 2400) on the SAT. He keeps a screen shot of his grades on his phone for proof.
While there has been temptation and bad elements all around him, Akintunde credits his success to the encouragement of friends and family who have kept him on the road to success.
His mother is the principle at Piedmont Elementary and his father worked as a mechanic for AC transit for 20 years worked hard to guide he and his 5 siblings, encouraging them to keep out of trouble.
‘Tunde says he’s just like “any other street dude on 98th Avenue,” but he is certainly defying the odds. Although mainstream media is annoyed with lauding Akintunde, Kwasi Enin and Avery Coffey, these young men deserve the praise-they have earn it.
Not only is this extraordinary teen proud to be a result of an OUSD public education, he says that he has never had to use a private tutor.
He has been met with private school students who say that it’s the low bar for academics at public schools which yields his successful academic.
But instead of comparing grades, he’s rather compare SAT and ACT scores and that tends to put them in their place.
With dreadlocks draping his shoulders, and his 6-foot-1 frame, Akintunde have often been judged by his appearance. Viewed as being a common street thug up to no good.
“People looking at me funny is so common that it doesn’t stick out for me anymore,” says Akintunde.
Growing up in Oakland, he has experienced countless tragedies and death.
“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.”
But he didn’t. Now, the only trouble that he faces is deciding between pre-law and pre-med. He also wants to join the baseball team at the college that he chooses.