Ellen Gives Oakland Teen $15,000 Towards His Ivy League Education

April 26, 2014  |  


With news breaking of teens like Kwasi Enin and Akintunde Ahmad being accepted to several Ivy League schools, many people were proud of their success but wondered how the families would be able to afford the expensive tuition for these schools. Well Ellen may have eased those worries for the Ahmad family.

17-year-old Akintunde Ahmad defied the odds recently when he received a 2100 SAT score, maintained a GPA of 5.0 and was accepted to multiple Ivy League schools including Yale, Brown and Columbia.

Ellen Degeneres invited the Oakland teen on her show where he revealed his plans to attend Yale University. To help him with tuition and other expenses she presented him with a $15,000 check. Ahmad also told a story about how he decided to write an essay instead of attending a party where his brother was later shot at one night. His brother survived, but Ahmad basically revealed that hitting the books instead of the house party may have saved his life.

Kudos to Ellen for highlighting stories like this. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Akintunde! View his appearance on The Ellen Show below:

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  • soisaid

    omg, to have all his hard work rewarded not only by himself but to be nationally recognized is an honor not just for him but for everyone he doesn’t know thats proud of him and is telling his story to others. way to go ellen. way to go!

  • bigdede

    I watched this live and was so happy when she gave him that check. He wasn’t expecting that either. I hope more of this younger generation see that it’s education that gets you out of poverty. It’s education that sends you places. That’s why Black people were not allowed to read during slavery. Knowledge is power. I loved that Ellen did this.

  • SimplyComplex

    I do think its weird that he even has to pay. I’m a college counselor and those schools are full need and our low income students that get in have a full ride. So his parents could have a decent income and the school want $10k or more a year. I hope this kid applies for scholarships, because this doesnt seem like Ellen is going to give him that check every year.

  • momsaysweremovingtoboston

    Congrats again to this young man and nice job Ellen! 🙂

  • Norah

    While it is quite nice that Ellen gave this young man $15,000 toward his Ivy League school (e.g. Yale, Harvard, Princeton, etc) education – the amount is a mere drop in the bucket toward the actual cost of getting one of their degrees. With the scores he achieved, where are the scholarships, grants, etc. By the way, just what will be his major? Maybe other celebrities can add to what Ellen contributed.

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  • Suga Bear

    Ellen is awesome!

  • Mama Huaco

    2100 SAT Score….5.0 GPA……..No full Yale Scholarship? or 4-year Scholarship of any kind? Just asking.

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  • Aaliyah Noelle

    This just goes to show you don’t judge a book by its cover. This dude is awesome. I’m so proud of him. My cousin has Harvard trying to recruite him. And I’m super proud. So I can only imagine how this guys parents feel. Way to go young man

  • Trisha_B

    I love Ellen! She’s such a selfless person!…& congrats again to this kid!! W/ scores like that, I thought he would have gotten a scholarship

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