By pushing the limits with the founding of a new math class and winning city championships in his sport, the latest Health/Plus NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week earned a spot at an Ivy League university. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
Ahmed Elsayed was out of options after his junior year at the High School for Public Service. He had taken and mastered every math class the school offers. But he wanted to learn calculus. Ahmed did the only thing he could think of.
"I went to the principal and I showed him my concerns and I showed him what I wanted, and he said if you guys are willing to put in the time and effort, that he would teach the class," recalls Ahmed.
So, everyday Principal Ben Schuldiner teaches Ahmed and another student the school's first ever Advanced Placement Calculus course.
"He and another student just kind of come to my conference room and we do calculus, and it's great and he's such a hard worker," says principal Benjamin Schuldiner.
Math and the study of medicine are Ahmed's passions and he pursues those topics with an unparalleled determination.
"The most driven student that I've had in 10 years of teaching, that he came in as a freshman knowing what he wanted to do," says history teacher Dr. Christopher Galbraith.
He wanted to become a doctor and he's well on his way. He's been accepted to Brown University, and even more impressively their exclusive eight-year medical degree program.
"I really enjoy that kind of career where you're always figuring things out, you're always working to try and solve this and solve that. So I want to do a career that I'm interested in and at the same time help people," Ahmed says.
Ahmed's hard work is also evident on the wrestling mats, where he went from what he calls awful as a freshman to the two-time defending city champion in his weight class. He'll be joining Brown's Division 1 wrestling team next year.
"It's amazing not only the growth on the mat and in the classroom but as a human being, the way he presents himself, the way he comes across, the good things I've seen him do in these hallways. When I go to eight grade recruitments whose name do you think I'm bringing up? The NY1 Scholar Athlete Ahmed Elsayed," says wrestling coach Steve Flanagan.
While his list of personal accomplishments really is almost endless, Ahmed's dedication to the school community is evident. He was the student body president and organized multi-cultural day a chance for student's of all different races and backgrounds to come together as one.
"He's such a powerful figure, he was the class president and when he would speak, he could get 400 kids to be quiet in an auditorium, there are very few teachers who can do that," says Schuldiner.
"I don't like to quit something that I started and I don't like to do anything mediocre, if I started something I want to finish and I want to finish it right," Ahmed says.
So, for being a trailblazer at his school, Ahmed Elsayed is the latest Health Plus/NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week.