Ahmed Muhammad, who graduated as the first Black male valedictorian from Oakland Tech High School on May 29, is going to Stanford, according to KPIX. The 18-year-old graduated with a 4.73 GPA and was accepted into 11 colleges, including Stanford, Harvard, Princeton and UC Berkley.
Muhammad chose Stanford because it was close to home and his family. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rachael Maddow, Tiger Woods and Elon Musk are some noteworthy Stanford alumni, and Muhammed will soon join their ranks.
In addition to being the school’s first Black and male valedictorian, Muhammad is also a gifted athlete and young entrepreneur. He was a member of the varsity basketball team at Oakland Tech. The valedictorian also founded Kits Cubed, a community organization that introduces young people to science through affordable and fun science kits. Thousands of the kits have been distributed to schools throughout Oakland.
“I find this especially important because our communities of color often lack access to the hands-on science experience that makes learning so enjoyable,” he said.
The Stanford-bound graduate gave a powerful speech at his graduation ceremony that praised those who came before him who could have been valedictorians but were dismissed because of their race.
“I recently became the first Black male valedictorian in our school’s history,” said Muhammad. “And I want to say something about that … Oakland Technical High School has been around for 106 years and there’s absolutely no way you can tell me I’m the first Black person capable of being valedictorian.”
“But for all those who didn’t get to maximize their potential, for all those who had the ability but lacked the opportunity, I owe it to them to appreciate this history made by the people who put me in this position. We owe it to them to make sure that, while I may be the first young Black man to be our school’s valedictorian, I won’t be the last.”
“I recently became the first Black male valedictorian in our school’s history. And I want to say something about that—“
Take a moment to listen to Oakland Tech’s Ahmed Muhammad’s inspirational speech. He made all of Oakland so proud.
These kids are going to change the world. pic.twitter.com/jaWvHOt6AF
— Buffy Wicks (@BuffyWicks) June 5, 2021
A high school senior from Oakland, CA, Ahmed Muhammed founded a science education company during the pandemic to showcase to young learners the accessibility and beauty of science pic.twitter.com/3U2BSbY1UV
— Shakthi (@v_shakthi) February 19, 2021
Muhammed, whose mother is from Cambodia, also talked about Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian American Hate during his graduation speech.
“We are the class of social distancing and N95 masks,” he said. “And we are the class of Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian American and Pacific Islander hate. Yes, we’re the class that has obnoxious TikTok dances, he joked.
California Governor Gavin Newsom congratulated the young man on Twitter.
“Thank you, Ahmed, for your powerful words. Look out, world — Oakland Tech is coming with some serious changemakers!”
“I recently became the first Black male valedictorian in our school’s history. And I want to say something about that…“
Thank you, Ahmed for your powerful words. Look out world — Oakland Tech is coming with some serious change makers! 👏pic.twitter.com/vqANk21T5k
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 7, 2021
Muhammed plans to study engineering when he attends Stanford in the fall. The valedictorian finished his graduation speech with more inspiring words.
“We are beautiful and we were made to fly.”