Akintunde Ahmad just sees himself as a regular 17-year-old, but the Oakland, Calif., teen has stunned everyone with his 5.0 GPA and 2100 SAT score, which have led to his acceptance at some of the country's most prestigious universities.
"Like, my whole life, people have been telling me to stay on this path and everything will fall, the cards will fall like you want them to," Akintunde told the local media proudly tipping a hat to the Oakland public school system.
Akintunde walks around with pictures documenting his astounding academic achievements saved on his smartphone, not because he wants to show off but because few believe that the teenager, who sports long locks, has actually reached such lofty heights. He says he is often judged for his appearance.
Appearance hasn't stopped schools like Yale, Brown, Columbia, Northwestern, the University of Southern California, UCLA, Howard, Chapman and more from courting the teenager, who also plays three instruments and is a great baseball player. So good in fact that Yale is talking to him about possibly joining its baseball team.
Akintunde has his heart set on either Yale or Brown and is interested in pursuing premed or prelaw.
Akintunde is living proof that often times what you get out of an education is what you put into it.
Kwasi Enin, the son of immigrant nurses from Ghana, figured that he would hedge his bets and apply to all of the Ivy League schools. "By applying to all eight, I figured it would better the chances of getting into one," the 17-year-old senior at William Floyd High School in Mastic, N.Y., said.
The collective acceptance rate of all Ivy League schools is less than 9 percent of all applicants for the class of 2018, ranging from 5.9 percent at Harvard to 14 percent at Cornell.
In comparison Bentley's has a 100% acceptance rate if you pay $20.
"I've never seen anything like it in my 15 years as a high school counselor," Nancy Winkler, Enin’s guidance counselor. "He's going to be a leader in whatever he chooses."
Enin wants to be a physician. "I'm thinking of being a cardiologist or neurologist," Enin told the Daily News. "A doctor is a community leader, a protector, someone who people turn to ... when they need help."
Ulysses Lee "Junior" Bridgeman was born on September 17, 1953 in East Chicago, Indiana. His father was a blue collar steel mill worker – a very common job in East Chicago during the era in which Junior Bridgeman grew up. He was a member of the undefeated (29-0) 1971 East Chicago Washington High School Senators basketball team that won the Indiana state high school basketball championship. His teammates included his brother Sam, Pete Trgovich, who went on to play at UCLA; and Tim Stoddard who would become a Major League Baseball pitcher.
At 6'5″ Bridgeman played guard and forward during college at the University of Louisville, where he was also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. After obtaining his bachelor's degree, Junior Bridgeman was drafted with the 8th overall pick in the first round of the 1975 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, and, as mentioned, was then immediately traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Kareem Abdul-Jabber
In his 12-year NBA career (10 with Milwaukee, two with the Clippers), Bridgeman was mostly a sixth man. For nine consecutive seasons he averaged double figures in scoring. He holds the Milwaukee franchise record for number of games played at 711, though he only started in 105 of those games.
Bridgeman was a good basketball player, solid and steady. His professional career lasted from 1975 to 1987, in the era just before players were paid crazy amounts of money. Players like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson made the bulk of their money from endorsement deals, but still made a lot of money in the NBA – close to $100 million for Jordan. Bridgeman never saw anywhere close to that kind of money during his NBA days. His peak salary was $350,000 from the Clippers in 1985.
Unlike most athletes, Junior was quick to realize that his window of time in the NBA would be relatively short. At some point the paychecks would stop coming in and he would need to find a new source of steady income. So, on a whim, Junior decided to purchase a franchise of his favorite fast food restaurant:Wendy's. While other NBA players hung out during the off season doing God knows what, Bridgeman was working in local Wendy's learning his burgeoning business from every angle and building a foundation for the rest of his and his family's lives. By the time his playing days were over, Junior owned three Wendy's.
After nearly 25 years in business, Bridgeman Foods INC operates more than 160 Wendy's and more than 120 Chili's franchises in America today.
Bridgeman employs over 11,000 people and has annual revenues in excess of $530 million dollars. Possibly looking to follow Junior's lead, current NBA player Chauncey Billups recently invested money into some Wendy's franchises. Junior is the second largest Wendy's franchise owner in the world and frequently listed as one of the most admired business leaders in America. His personal net worth today tops $400 million. That's just $250 million shy of Michael Jordan. That's also $380 million MORE than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's current net worth of $20 million.