Mouhammed Bah - An American Graduate Atlanta Student Champion | American Graduate Champions | PBA30

B.E.S.T Academy Student Called Inspiration, Role Model For Classmates

by Shelby Lin Erdman • OCT 25, 2015

Video produced by Dan Gillette and Gordon Ray

His teachers can’t say enough about B.E.S.T. Academy eighth grader Mouhammed Bah.

“Mouhammed is a wonderful young man. He’s hard working. He’s inquisitive. He is excited about learning,” BEST Academy eighth grade language arts teacher Maria Bell told PBA 30 during a recent interview on the student.

I think education brings more wealth to being successful than any other thing in life.

That is part of why Bah was chosen as an American Graduate Champion by the Atlanta Public Schools. But there is more to this young student than class work alone.

“Mouhammed Bah leads in every way possible. One of the things he does, besides in academics, he actually studies hard and performs in grades, but outside of the classroom he’s also an awesome young man,” according to B.E.S.T. Academy Middle School Principal Hajj Womack.

“He’s one of our Golden Ambassadors and as one of our Golden Ambassadors, he takes all of our visitors around on tour and answers any questions whatsoever about B.E.S.T Academy Middle School. He is a proud B.E.S.T. man,” Womack said with pride.


In selecting Bah as an American Graduate Champion, APS officials said, among his outstanding qualities, Bah has earned the respect and admiration of school teachers and administrators, alike.

Part of that respect and admiration may come from the eighth grader’s very grown-up philosophy on the importance of school.

“Education is the key to being successful,” Bah said. “People try to get wealthy off of doing bad things, but I think education brings more wealth to being successful than any other thing in life.”


Those wise words from someone so young may be at the heart of school officials’ description of Bah as an inspiration and role model to his classmates, too, but teacher Bell believes the students sets a great example for his classmates.

“He asks for more work, which, as you know, is unusual in eighth grade boys,” Bell explained.

“He takes criticism, takes it in and then tries to learn from it and get better,” she added.

Mouhammed Bah has all the qualities an American Graduate Champion needs to be awarded the honor.

“Education is key in someone’s life in order for them to be successful,” Bah reasoned. And that is why the eighth grader is an American Graduate Champion.


PBA's Atlanta Champions


Scott Allen

"He is such a dedicated teacher who says that he is awed by his students’ creativity and original thought."


Mouhammed Bah

"I think education brings more wealth to being successful than any other thing in life."


Travis Brown

"He just does everything he can to insure that when a student comes in his class he’s removed all barriers so that they can truly learn."


Atia Butts

"You always want to have the mindset of succeeding and if you know the people around you are not going down that path then do your best to be nice, be cordial, but distance yourself from those".

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Kim Bearden

"No child should ever be allowed to be invisible in a classroom."

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Barry Blackmon

"I use a lot of different methods and try to mix my own type of gumbo within the classroom, such as discipline and humor."


Meria Carstarphen

"We really want parents to help us get children in school, on time, every single day and that starts with getting up and making sure they can get out of the house on time, into the bus or walking to school."

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Ron Clark

"We’re trying to lift the spirits of our students so they’ll be excited and they’ll be eager to learn."


Megan Gilroy

"Health can still be fun. It doesn’t have to be this drudgery exercise in this terrible thing."


Dave Howland

"Literally every single grade a kid gets in high school has an impact on their future trajectory. So making sure that that’s a big piece, helps them stay on track to graduate."


Kesha Payne

"Every decision you make, keep students first. I say communicate clearly with parents and administrators. I say collaborate effectively with your colleagues and keep students top of mind."


Immanuel Reed

"When I was a kid, being a part of a program like this helped me tremendously, and I think that me doing the same thing for others, giving them chances, giving them the opportunity to make the best decisions, it’s full circle for me."


Dan Sims

"The hope is in the school house and we hold a primary place in inspiring kids to look beyond this time frame."


Amber Stewart

"The success of a student hinges on the teacher that’s standing in front of that classroom and hinges on the school leader that’s running that school."


Darryl Terry

"As a student in one of the most impoverished areas of Atlanta, I’ve always known that education is going to be my only way out."


Stuart Thorn

"We’ve been able to take the graduation rate for this cohort of kids up from probably what would have been in the neighborhood of five to 15 percent up to now above 85 percent."


Dennis Tolliver

"He captures his students’ attention and they hold on to every word that he says because they know what he gives will truly benefit their lives."

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Jayongela Wilder

"There is nothing more rewarding then seeing a kid that you taught graduate from college."