HOUSTON, Texas – Ahmad Shaheed, resident of Houston, is the recipient of the 2019 Community Ambassador Award, presented at the Annual C-STEM Stakeholder Breakfast, on April 24, 2019 in Houston.
C-STEM (Communication, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is a nonprofit organization that connects underrepresented students to STEM curricula, events, and funding to foster discovery and support exploration of STEM interests and career opportunities.
C-STEM has three primary targets: 1) getting students excited about STEM through hands on project-based learning; 2) training teachers on how to teach STEM and engage with their students; and 3) lobbying for STEM education in federal, state, and local governments and organizations.
Since its inception 17 years ago, C-STEM has trained more than 2,700 teachers and worked with 270,000 students. Ahmad has served as the Chairman of the C-STEM Board, a volunteer position, for the past three years.
At the Stakeholder Breakfast, he was recognized for his outstanding service and commitment to the organization.
Ahmad is a native of Miami, Fla., and moved to Houston to pursue higher education. He earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering and his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Houston.
He has more than 15 years of experience as a Mechanical Engineer and currently works for Boardwalk Pipeline as a Senior Project Manager, overseeing the design, procurement and construction of natural gas pipelines and facilities.
In his acceptance speech, Ahmad spoke of how his studies and pursuit of a STEM career made a difference in his life. “STEM education is transformative and has the power to change lives. STEM education helped me to transcend the challenges inherent to my Liberty City upbringing to become the successful businessman I am today,” he said.
Later in the week, Ahmad co-chaired the Annual C-STEM Challenge Day, which was held Sat., April 27. This event engages hundreds of PreK-12th grade students in competitions in Robotics, Mural Painting, Photography, Film, Debate, Quiz Bowl, Innovation, and Sculpting. While C-STEM focuses on the STEM areas, it also recognizes the need for students to have other important skills and training. C-STEM believes that Communication is one of the most important soft skills necessary for achievement and advancement.
They help students build this core competency, along with traditional STEM acumen, through its engaging curriculum and events like Challenge Day. At the 2019 event, Ahmad served as the lead person to set-up the robotics fields, which student teams used to compete in a series of competitions with the robots they built at school.
Additionally, Ahmad served as a judge for several of these competitions. It is long days and hard work but he finds it to be so rewarding.
Of C-STEM he said, “I chased C-STEM for a few years (before they finally allowed me to join the board), because I have a passion for giving back. And given the various pulls on my time, I want to get the most out of the time, money, and energy I invest.”
Ahmad really believes in the mission and work of C-STEM. In his acceptance speech, he also implored the audience to make a contribution, whether it is financially, volunteering their time and skills, or leveraging the resources in their networks.
He insisted that every contribution is needed and valuable to the benefit of the work of the organization.
When Ahmad is not working or volunteering at C-STEM, he serves as an Assistant Imam at Masjid Warithuddeen Mohammed, under the training and leadership of Imam Dr. Wazir Ali in Houston.
He is also a husband and father of two young boys. To learn more about bringing STEM education to your city, school, or program, visit www.cstem.org.