“Al possesses that rare combination of a brilliant mind and a genuinely humble spirit,” Mt. Paran Christian School principal Eric Bradley said of Al Ahmadi. “Al has earned the reputation of being a fantastic student, but he has just as great a reputation around campus for his kindness and sense of humor.”
Ahmadi, the 18-year-old son of Alex and Janet Ahmadi of Kennesaw, has been at Mt. Paran since second grade and has participated in any and every club and activity that he could.
“For my high school experience, from the very beginning, I always knew that I wanted to be a very involved member of my school, so I started off with as much as I could, and I continued that through the four years,” he said.
Ahmadi’s extracurricular activities include the Student Government Association, Beta Club, Model U.N. Club, H.I.S. Club, Academic Quiz Bowl, Concert Band and Spanish National Honor Society.
“My biggest challenge was budgeting my time between academics and extracurricular, trying to build a nice portfolio for colleges.”
His senior year, Ahmadi was the vice president of student government, but he’s served numerous other roles and helped with many projects with the club.
“I coordinated activities to help us create a tight-knit community before we graduate so that we enjoy the last couple of months we’ve had,” he said.
Outside of school, he works with children in the emergency department at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, which he’s done for the past couple of years.
“I helped clean the facilities and helped making everybody comfortable, especially the families,” he said, adding that he enjoyed it but doesn’t plan to study medicine in college.
Ahmadi graduated on Saturday, and although he doesn’t have any summer plans and still isn’t quite sure what career path he’ll follow as an adult, he is looking forward to attending Columbia University in New York City in the fall.
“I’m definitely interested in their history department (at Columbia) because I know that they have a really, strong nationally ranked one, and I’m excited to be able to listen to the professors who are world-renowned in their fields,” Ahmadi said.
However, he said he is a bit nervous about going off to college so far from home.
“I’ve been in this community for so long and adjusting to college life, I know that’s going to be a challenge, going from small-town Kennesaw to New York City,” he said.
Ahmadi said he will miss bonding with his classmates.
“You get to know so many people so well … Just seeing their faces every day down the hall,” he said. “It’s going to be hard leaving them next year.”
One of his counselors, Theresa Gernatt, or Coach Tag, said she will miss Ahmadi’s drive and intellectual curiosity that shines alongside his humility.
“A Super Senior in my opinion, will always leave a legacy of love,” she said. “Al Ahmadi exudes loving-kindness in all ways.”
Al believes underclassmen should “start early.”
“You can never start early enough trying to get your extracurricular and your applications and academics,” he said. “When in doubt, do it all.”