YOUNG VOICES

Teen Wins Place To Study At Stanford University After Writing #BlackLivesMatter 100 Times On Application

'As a society, it's our responsibility to scream that black lives matter.'

04/04/2017 15:26

A high school student has won a place at Stanford University after writing #BlackLivesMatter 100 times in his application. 

When asked “What matters to you, and why?” on the form, Ziad Ahmed used the opportunity to share his passion and support for the movement, which campaigns against systematic violence and prejudice towards black people. 

But the 18-year-old said he was “stunned” when he opened his acceptance letter from the prestigious university, which has been ranked third in the world by Times Higher Education. 

Ziad Ahmed
Ziad Ahmed has been accepted to Stanford University after writing #BlackLivesMatter on his application form 

The New Jersey teen told Mic: “I didn’t think I would get admitted to Stanford at all, but it’s quite refreshing to see that they view my unapologetic activism as an asset rather than a liability.” 

He continued: “Black lives have been explicitly and implicitly told they don’t matter for centuries, and as a society it is our responsibility to scream that black lives matter. 

“It is not to say that all lives do not matter, but it is to say that black lives have been attacked for so long, and that we must empower through language, perspective, and action.”

A tweet from Ahmed sharing his application form and acceptance letter has since gone viral and has been liked more than 3,500 times. 

But while some found the simplicity of Ahmed’s post “inspiring”, others were left underwhelmed, suggested he could have written something more in depth about the Black Lives Matter movement.

But the high school senior’s qualifications extend well beyond his essay stunt. 

According to the Root, Ahmed has given a TEDx Talk about youth activism, worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and was invited to the White House Iftar dinner.  

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