In America, it’s no secret that many African American youths usually end up in gangs, especially those who live and grow up in deprived areas.
For a lot of people, this is the ‘black’ community they know and have come to expect. A generation of young people who are school drop outs, gangsters and victims of their own society.
This is why it’s always heart warming to hear a breakthrough story such as that of 18 year old Akintunde Ahmad who made headlines in the US last week after scoring a 5.0 GPA and achieving a score of 2100 out of 2400 in his SAT’s.
Looking at him, his appearance is no different from the typical African American youth, big gold chains, baggy jeans, and tattoes, you would be forgiven for lumping him into the usual ‘black’ stereotype but appearances can be very deceiving.
Growing up in a neighbourhood so tough, his own brother was once shot, the former Oak Tech High School student was able to keep out of trouble by getting involved in sports and working very hard.
His outstanding result has earned him offers from some of America’s Ivy league Universities including Yale and Columbia.
Akintunde appeared on the Helen show on Thursday where he talked about the importance of staying busy as a black kid.
“Manage your time wisely because it’s easy to get behind when you’re doing that much,” he said.
“But staying busy kind of helps you do that because you don’t have any time to fall behind or procrastinate … Makes it easier in a way.”
During the show, host Helen Degeneres asked the youngsters parents, both of whom were in the audience to support him if he was the smartest of their children, to which mum replied…”Yes, we can say that.”
Akintunde had left the decision as to which University he would be attending until his appearance on the show where he finally revealed that he was opting for Yale, to his parents delight and applause from the audience.
He also received $15, 000 from Helen Degeneres who presented him the cheque as a contribution to his school expenses which are certain to be high.
Born to a Rastafarian family, it is not clear if Akintunde has any affiliations to Nigeria or not ,but the mere fact that he has managed to break this stereotype that any black youth who looks and dresses the way he does is a gangster or a drop out is great news and inspiration for all Africans and African Americans.
Congratulations to him!
Watch his interview with Helen here