High school graduation looms in the shadows for the class of 2021. And one young man and his high school are making history as Oakland Technical HS selects first black male valedictorian.

Eighteen-year-old Ahmed Muhammad was excited to find out that he was going to be Oakland Technical High School’s first African American Valedictorian.


“I was definitely shocked when I found out. This school is more than a hundred years old — in the middle of Oakland,” said Muhammad to KPIX 5. “So, I’m really surprised that there hasn’t been a Black male valedictorian before.”

Muhammad is a straight-A student with an impressive 4.7 GPA. The phenomenal scholar has been accepted to all eleven school of which he applied. And some of the schools on list include: Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, USC, Cal and Howard.

“I would have been happy to get accepted into just one of them because you know you can only go to one school. But eleven of them — that’s pretty cool.”

However, Muhammad is not just a scholar. The talented young man also plays on the school’s basketball team.

Yet, if you think that that is all to Ahmed Muhammad, it’s not. The high school student, who has a passion for science, is also an entrepreneur. Muhammad started a nonprofit, Kits Cubed, in March to give kids a hands-on experience with science.

The goal of Kits Cubed is to get kids excited about learning science. Muhammad has sold or donated more than 10,000 kits. All kits contain three science projects or experiments of his design. The Kits Cubed sells three kits for $15.

“I want kids to know that science is all around us; it doesn’t need to be in a super fancy lab, with millions of dollars of equipment,” he said in an interview with CNN. “It can be with the battery that you find in your smoke detector, or in the leaves of the trees outside, or in a potato.”

He continued, “I want them to walk away with the knowledge and the confidence that they can be a scientist, even if they don’t want to be a scientist. My nephew told me he’s bad at science. He doesn’t like it. I want to sort of eliminate that thought and replace it with, ‘I’m good at science, and I can be a scientist if I want to.’ That’s what I really want them to get out of it.”

So, exactly what does this phenomenal young man want to study in the future? He wants to be an engineer.

“The first thing that I ever wanted to be was an archeologist and a paleontologist. Like I wanted to dig up dinosaur bones,” he said. “Then I wanted to be an astronaut and go to the moon. Then I wanted to be a surgeon. And now I say I want to be an engineer.”

Congratulations, Ahmed! Great things are on the horizon for you.

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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