When I decided to attend Yale five years ago, people held me up as an example of a black student who “beat the odds.” I wish they were more curious about why my brother wound up in prison instead.
The day after my 18th birthday, I boarded a plane and left Oakland for Los Angeles, where I was to announce on national TV which university I planned to attend in the fall. It was April 22, 2014. The 45-minute flight was quick, and before I knew it, I was in the green room. Everybody was so kind; the atmosphere was cheerful. I waited backstage for my introduction.
“Despite living in the inner city, our next guest has made his own path to success, earning a 5.0 GPA and scoring a 2100 on his SATs. He has been accepted into many Ivy League schools and proves that, with hard work and support from family, anything is possible. From Oakland, California, please welcome 18-year-old Tunde Ahmad,” Ellen DeGeneres proclaimed.