Ziad Ahmed, 18, has been offered admission to Stanford University after he repeatedly wrote #BlackLivesMatter on his application. He had been asked on the Stanford University application "What matters to you, and why?” and he replied by writing #BlackLivesMatter 100 times.
Surprisingly, the practising Muslim senior high school student in New Jersey received an acceptance letter from the prestigious University.
"Everyone who received your application was inspired by your passion, determination, accomplishments, and heart,” the acceptance letter read. "You are, quite simply, a fantastic match with Stanford. You will bring something original and extraordinary to our campus – a place where you can learn, grow, and thrive.”
Ahmed told MIC that he was “stunned” to be accepted.
"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 said.
He said that being a Muslim meant being aligned to the struggles of black people and pointed out that one-third of the Muslim community in America are black people.
"To me, to be Muslim is to be a BLM ally, and I honestly can't imagine it being any other way for me. "Furthermore, it's critical to realise that one-fourth to one-third of the Muslim community in America are black... and to separate justice for Muslims from justices for the black community is to erase the realities of the plurality of our community," Ahmed said.
The Bangladeshi-American posted a screenshot of his application and the acceptance letter on Twitter and the post has been liked a thousand times. Ahmed interned for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016. He also had the privilege of attending the White House Iftar dinner, held during Ramadan.
Ahmed is the founder of teen organisation Redefy and the co-founder of the youth-focused consultancy firm JÜV Consulting. He uses these platforms to get actively involved in combating racial stereotypes.
In 2015 the 18-year-old gave a TedxTalk in Panama about what it was like to be a Muslim teenager in the US.
"We live in a world where we are suffocated by societal expectations," he said, adding he had been "labelled more times than a GMO [genetically modified product]".
Asides Stanford, he has also been accepted to Yale University and Princeton University.