A Bangladeshi-American teenager has secured a place in the prestigious Stanford University writing only #BlackLivesMatter a hundred times in the essay for his application.
The teenager was Ziad Ahmed, aged 18, who described his application essay as “unapologetic activism.” Ziad says he was stunned at receiving an acceptance from the reputable Institute. The question in the application had asked, “What matters to you, and why?” To this, he replied with a chain of Black Lives Matter hashtags.
Ziad tweeted a snapshot of both his application and the acceptance letter he received from the university. Considering the university receives 20 applications per position, an admission is considered quite an achievement.
I submitted this answer in my @Stanford application, & yesterday, I was admitted…#BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/R5YxM77bWL
— Ziad Ahmed (@ziadahmed) April 1, 2017
Ziad, however, was not expecting an acceptance which came as a thrill to him to which he said, “I was actually stunned when I opened the update and saw that I was admitted. 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.”
Like most other things on social media, Ziad received his part of criticism. Some users accused him of “virtue signaling,” while another called it “an attempt to look progressive.”
Even though his reply to the question what matters to you was appropriate, he had failed to deliver a reason. He had a fair explanation to this saying, “The insistence on an explanation is inherently dehumanizing. 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 because 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.”
Looking at the situation, some may miss out on the point that he had other things to his CV rather than just an essay question. Some Twitter users observed that his TEDx talks, and the White House invitation would have strengthened his application significantly.
I just spoke at #KairosPrinceton at the @NassauInn about empowerment + taking action. Incredible speakers/people here. Honored to be a part. pic.twitter.com/9rHQJTUsGY
— Ziad Ahmed (@ziadahmed) February 26, 2017
Ziad is also the founder of an organization named redefy aimed at eliminating stereotypes. He was featured among Business Insider’s top 15 young prodigies and MTV’s top 9 teens changing the world. So before you think, the essay was all, do have a look at all of his other achievements and efforts.