The Oakland Raiders have long been associated with the phrase “Commitment to Excellence.” This week, the team honored a Yale-bound Oakland high school student who truly personifies that famous adage.
Oakland Tech High senior Akintunde Ahmad, who is graduating at the top of his class with a 5.0 Grade Point Average, will be decked out in Silver and Black when he steps onto the Ivy League campus in New Haven, Connecticut in the fall, thanks to a shopping spree courtesy of the Raiders at the team’s Raider Image store in Alameda.
Ahmad was accompanied during his shopping spree for officially licensed Raider logo’d caps, t-shirts, polos and hoodies by Raider Legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Brown and three current players—Oakland native, cornerback Taiwan Jones, linebacker Nick Roach and wide receiver Rod Streater.
The 18-year-old Ahmad also received an unexpected gift—a laptop computer—from Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie. “We hope that this gift from the Raiders will serve you well at Yale,” said McKenzie.
Ahmad, who also stars on the Oakland Tech baseball team and plays French horn and African drums in the school orchestra, made national headlines when he appeared on the Ellen Show to announce that he was attending Yale, which was one of many prestigious universities that he was accepted to.
“I’m definitely the type of person that if I want to do something, nobody can stop me from doing it” Ahmad told Raiders.com. “I’m going to just go out there and do whatever I feel that I need to do to reach whatever goal that I want.”
The Oakland City Council passed a resolution to honor Ahmad and he was also honored as the Oakland region student athlete of the year by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), California’s governing body for high school sports.
That the Raiders are honoring this young man should not come as a surprise as the team is well entrenched in the community.
One example of the team’s ongoing commitment to the community is the organization’s innovative program to benefit local students. The program, named First & Goal Kids, provided local youth and their chaperones the opportunity to attend a game at no cost during the 2013 regular season. Cytosport, Bibby’s Chocolates, New Era and THE GLAD Products Company partnered with the Raiders as sponsors to assist in making this endeavor come to fruition.
The Raiders provided students in the Oakland Unified School District with game tickets, transportation and meals. In addition, they were treated to a chalk talk by a Raider Legend that included Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Brown and Bo Jackson and got a visit from Raider Rusher, the latest addition to the Silver and Black’s community relations roster.