OAKLAND (KCBS) – Graduation day is a special time for all high school seniors, and one student at Oakland Technical High School, who is graduating on Wednesday, is reflecting on what has been a standout career.
18-year-old Akintunde Ahmad said this has been a week of mixed emotions for him. “You know that now, it’s all going to be over, and we’re moving into the next chapter in life,” he said.
That next chapter will be at Yale University for Akintunde, who earned a 5.0 GPA at Oakland Tech and scored 2100 on the SAT. Along with being a standout in the classroom, he also stayed busy with extracurricular activities, from basketball, to playing outfield for the school’s baseball team, where he earned MVP honors in the Oakland Athletic League last year. If that’s not enough, he’s a musician too.
With all those accomplishments, word has gotten out about Akintunde, and he has become a celebrity of sorts in Oakland. He’s appeared on nationwide television, radio and in newspapers. And how has he handled the attention?
“It’s definitely surreal because I didn’t expect any of it, and I couldn’t foresee it,” he said. “It took awhile for a lot of it to set in.”
Akintunde had his choice of schools, turning down two other Ivy League schools, Brown University and Columbia University. He said there were numerous reasons he chose Yale, a decision he announced on “Ellen.”
“Yale, being into the atmosphere and the architecture, the history and the prestige of the school,” Akintunde said. “Everything about it.”
While many of his friends and classmates have found trouble in Oakland, Akintunde has stayed on the right track, staying focused on school and trying to always remain positive, despite confronting pitfalls. He said his success should also be viewed as Oakland’s success.
“It’s shedding our city, my school in a positive light, and that’s not something you see very often,” he said.
Akintunde said he still is undecided on what he will study at Yale, but he hopes to continue to prove those who pre-judge him wrong, and be an example of a success story coming from Oakland.