My name is Rashad. I was born in Houston, Texas, on May 3rd, 2001. I have resided in Houston and in Memphis, Tennessee. I am currently located in Memphis. I am of a single parent household. My mother, Kimberly Speight, is an educator. She is a coach to high school science teachers. My grandparents and aunt and uncles all support me. My uncle Jihad, who I resemble most in personality, according to my mother, is like an older brother to me. He was separated enough from his siblings by age as to be like me, an only child. Him being born on the 20th of May and me on the 3rd of May, we are shockingly close to what our zodiac signs would have us be: lazy, obstinate, and materialistic, but also determined, loyal, patient, and generous. I am respectful and thoughtful. I am always striving to be better.
As a young one I was quiet and timid. My mother tells me that I was usually seen with a look on my face that resembled thinking. I also could often be spotted with a wide grin on my face, despite being taciturn. Before kindergarten, my mother explained to me how she would not allow me to have video games before I could read, because “any parent who would do that would be crazy”. Not caring about school as much as people thought I did, I agreed that I would attend kindergarten under the pretense that they would teach me to read. After the first week, I announced my vow to never attend school ever again, since I had been there for a whole week and still could not read. I denounced the teachers as stupid and ineffective, and told my mother that there was no need for them to have a job because they did not do anything. Luckily, my mother, being a teacher herself, redirected me and my thoughts. She made an agreement with me that if I would go to school, she would teach me to read when I got home. Within weeks, I had video games.
Fortunately, I have developed an internal desire to perform in school. I have always been the top in my class. At the U of M Campus School, I scored a perfect score on the TCAP. My teacher said that that has never been done before at the school. At White Station Middle School, my 6th grade science team won the state fair and was a finalist for our region for our Ecyber Science Fair project. I also was able to take the ACT in the 7th grade, on which I scored very high. I am currently a rising sophomore at Hollis F. Price Middle College High School. I have scored either number 1or number 2 in all of my classes. I have grown in my social skills here as well. I was Mr. Freshman and a part of the Student Government.
Being involved in my community is important. Therefore, looking for opportunities to be a part of organizations that allow me to serve my community, meet new people, and learn new things is something I seek. Working through Bridge Builders of Memphis, the Memphis Ambassador Program, and the Halal Food Pantry @ Masjid Al- Mu’ Minun allows me to serve others. The Halal food pantry is dear to me because food insecure families are able to have some relief through the efforts of a few. I have worked with this operation for several years, since it opened.
In my free time, I enjoy experiencing media that involves strategy or psychology, such as the anime Psycho- Pass or Shikamaru’s fights from Naruto. Characters which make use of their intelligence intrigue me, rather than the stereotypical plot armor or power of heart character. I like to world build as if I were going to write a novel (although I never quite get to that part). I also read comics, for which DC and Marvel are my friends. The Flash is my favorite superhero, although other characters have my favorite superpowers. When I was younger and had more free time, I would create my own superheroes, with unique superpowers, costumes, motives, and histories, although they never got implemented in a book or anything. I also made game documents, which I like to do now as well.
I have a knack for design. Patterns and relations appear to me quickly. This gives way to more seemingly unrelated abilities, like marking trajectories off sight and forming an argument to make a case. This is also helpful in geometry where visualization is also required. I can often also exceed at videogames with complex AI, because the movement patterns and action probabilities will appear to me before most other players. I am also skilled in formal logic. This also allows me to form arguments to make cases.
I plan to become a great mathematician. I intend on obtaining a place in the discussion of the best of them, along with Euler and Gauss. I currently work on mathematical research, and plan on being one of the mathematicians to make significant contributions to mathematics as a younger teenager. My favorite mathematical topics include number theory and the classification of irregular and non- traditional shapes, such as super ellipses. Higher dimensional geometry, most other branches of geometry, knot theory, proof theory, game theory, and group theory also interest me. My path is looking towards engineering though, so I would publish my math on the side.
My family has taught me to strive for success. I want to be successful. Successful people often take the road less travelled. They often move away from the ordinary. They take risks. They set goals, work towards them, and build networks while they’re doing it. Successful people are involved in their communities. My life reflects that.
-Rashad Abdur- Raheem
2016 Youth Global Ambassador
One Step Initiative