Power 3 min read

Teen’s Answer On His College Application Goes Viral

This is what an ally looks like.

Trying to get into college can be a stressful time for young adults. There’s immense pressure to represent the qualities that universities are looking for while still being true to the person that you are.

For high school senior Ziad Ahmed, his college applications weren’t only about getting into the university of his choice, they also presented the opportunity to bring attention to an extremely relevant cause.

On his application for Stanford University, Ziad was asked: “What matters to you and why?” As a social activist deeply involved in fighting for the representation and rights of others, there was only one way Ziad knew he could answer this question.

The Muslim teen wrote “#BlackLivesMatter” 100 times as his response.

The risky answer was meant to start a dialog about the important movement and it did just that. When Ziad posted his Stanford acceptance letter and the accompanying application story on his Twitter account, the internet swarmed to it and the post quickly went viral.

The extremely accomplished young man has also been accepted into Princeton and Yale and encourages youth activism through his own TEDx Talks.



Shining a light on the Black Lives Movement organization was a natural move for the teen. As far as Ziad is concerned, “To be Muslim is to be a BLM ally.” Ziad chooses to see what unites us as people and it’s his mission to promote that message.

No matter what Ziad undertakes in the future, he’ll no doubt excel at it, just as he does as an ally for these important social causes.

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