Ahmed Muhammad, Oakland Technical High School
Ahmed Muhammad is a 2021 graduate of Oakland Technical High School in California, the largest public high school in the city. As the son of a now-retired captain of the Oakland Fire Department, Muhammad spent a lot of time in fire stations as a child. On countless ride-alongs with firefighters, Muhammad learned the values of service and community, and the importance of being in a position to help others. He also has an insatiable curiosity for the world around him, which led him to take STEM courses throughout high school. Together with his passion for community involvement, a love for science inspires Muhammad to use science to better communities. He also volunteers as a tutor for underserved youth in Oakland and tutors his varsity basketball team (on which he’s a key leader and starting point guard). Muhammad is the founder and CEO of Kits Cubed, a youth-led nonprofit organization with a mission to “introduce youth to the wonders of science through fun, affordable and accessible means.” Kits Cubed designs, creates and distributes hands-on science kits for elementary school youth with the goal of unlocking every child’s inner scientist. Since founding Kits Cubed, Muhammad and his organization have distributed tens of thousands of science kits in the Bay Area and across all 50 states; have been featured in local, national and international news; and have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars. One hundred percent of the funds raised go toward the Kits Cubed mission of bringing science to our communities. In the classroom, Muhammad enrolled in the most rigorous math and science courses available at his high school, including his school’s engineering academy, and pursued upper-level courses by enrolling in his local community college. During high school, he completed 13 AP courses, 11 college classes and earned National AP Scholar status. His academic pursuits earned him a 4.7+ GPA, the highest in his class. Muhammad was the school’s 2021 valedictorian – the first Black male to receive the honor in Oakland Tech’s 106-year history. He will attend Stanford University in the fall, and is a first-generation college student. He intends to study computer science and engineering, with the ultimate goal of continuing to develop new systems that can improve the lives of those in his community and around the world.