When Mohamed Ahmed was making his decision to come to Normandale in spring 2016 as a junior in high school, he was looking to take a couple of PSEO classes for college credit. Little did he know two years later, his journey would lead to him serving as Student Senate President, Commencement Student Speaker, and eventually graduating with an associate's degree on his way to attending Harvard.
Ahmed's journey to Normandale started as a junior in high school when his sister, who had attended Normandale, recommended the experience to him.
Ahmed's original plan was to take PSEO classes at Normandale for a year, and leave after he was done. That changed once he got involved in Student Senate.
"I joined Student Senate in my first year at Normandale in September," said Ahmed. "Once I started, I got more involved and then I ran for secretary the second semester. My last year, I was elected Student Senate President. My involvement in Student Senate was a big factor in my staying and completing my associate's degree."
Once he decided he was going to complete his degree at Normandale, Ahmed was on track to finish his associate's degree at the same time as he was going to graduate high school. As Ahmed started planning for college, he applied to a number of prestigious universities. At the end of March, he received the exciting news that he was accepted to both Stanford and Harvard. Ahmed chose Harvard, and he believes that extracurricular activities were what put him over the top when it came to his admission at both universities.
"The opportunities I got through Normandale allowed me to gain valuable experiences around the state and country," said Ahmed. "I got to meet different people, learn many lessons and gain many new experiences. It really helped me learn more about myself. I think the universities I applied to wanted to know that I used all the resources available to me at Normandale, and that I would be ready to do more when I arrived on their campus."
Ahmed came to Normandale as a first-generation student, and he is thankful for all that he learned and the amount of personal growth he was able to have Normandale.
"Normandale laid the groundwork for what I want to do," said Ahmed. "It allowed me to explore many different areas, and learn more about myself. I am excited going to Harvard, but I will miss Normandale. It became a home away from home."