Bronx educator at Mott Haven school wins Amazon teacher of the year award

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One high school math, computer science and world language teacher has gone above and beyond for his students at Bronx Academy of Letters — now he’s being recognized for it.

Mohammad Ahmad, an educator in his fourth year was named a 2020 Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year Award recipient, winning a prize package valued at more than $50,000 for his Mott Haven school as well.

That academy will now be gifted $25,000, with an additional $25,000 in school supplies, including Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablets, classroom essentials from AmazonBasics and additional items from Amazon Essentials.

Ahmad also received one full year of Amazon Music Unlimited and a 12-month Gold Gift Membership as part of his prize.

The surprise announcement came while he was on a staff video call and his reaction to the wonderful news was heartwarming.

“I’m not often without words, and I was speechless at finding out I’d been selected as one of the Amazon Future Engineer Teachers of the Year,” Ahmad said, adding that “this award will go a long way in expanding our students’ access to technology, computer science education, and potential post-secondary career pathways.”

Bronx Academy of Letters Principal, Erin Garry also took to thanking Ahmad for simply being himself, saying “thank you for always advocating for our kids and for always getting to know the whole kid and not just a small piece of them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve done for our students, our communities, your colleagues and for me.”

Garry’s team at the Bronx Academy of Letters work to provide a safe space for students to focus on their education, have experiences to expand their interests and opportunities to self-advocate through activism, and to broaden the scope of potential career options available to them after high school.

During his teaching career, Ahmad has been teaching algebra 2, pre-calculus, psychology, Arabic, intro to computer science and AP computer science principles.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that this year, there are 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available and only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs.

“He is helping prepare Bronx youth for the jobs of the future by making sure they have access to a high-quality computer science education,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. said on behalf of the award winning teacher.

Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson also commended Ahmad’s outstanding achievement in the classroom as well.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Mohammad and for his students. Through his leadership, he is providing our youth with the necessary skills that will prepare them to become future leaders,” she said.