Askari’s Ahad’s Hollywood Dreams

Over his four years of high school, Askari Ahad has gone from an unsure 14-year-old boy to an ambitious creative entrepreneur. At CHS, he ran varsity cross-country and track, started his own clothing brand, Nuice Juice, and prepared for the moment when he would be able to spread his artistic wings beyond the confines of a classroom. Now, as his time at CHS comes to a close, that moment is here. He is embarking on the next chapter of his life: moving to Hollywood to work as a production assistant at MTV, while also pursuing careers in modeling and photography.

“I’m an extra set of hands on set,” Ahad said, describing his work at MTV. “If somebody forgot something in their trailer I go get it for them, I bring food to them … and I keep track of their itinerary.”

To many who dream of breaking into the entertainment industry, this may sound like a dream job. And the story of how Ahad got there is a classic Hollywood tale in itself. Ahad’s mother, it turns out, has had a successful secondary career as an African dancer. And she has a longtime friend who works as a hairstylist for, among others, the movie and TV superstar Lesile Jones. This year, Jones hosted the MTV Awards Show and was looking for dancers to perform an African dance to promote her new movie Coming 2 America. Her hairdresser recommended Ahad’s mother as a dancer, and she in turn recommended Ahad as a production assistant.

“I was even reluctant to go at first,” Ahad said. “The moment I got to the set I felt stupid thinking that I was going to be bored and immediately apologized to my mother.”

Instead, he loved it, and is moving to Hollywood after graduation to continue his work as a production assistant—as well pursuing a career in graphic design and modeling on the side. If you would like to see Ahad’s work, check out his portfolio at

Ahad’s path may not be the typical one, but he is continuing to follow his dreams, and he credits his cousin and many others with inspiring him to stay true to himself. He sees himself having a bright future in the creative world, whether that be in graphic design, modeling, photography, or production. He knows it will be a lot of hard work, but he draws inspiration from the people who have done it before him.

“No two people have the same path,” Ahad said. “There is no formula, there is no school, there is no degree that you can get to build up your base in the creative world.”

During his time at CHS, Ahad has learned that it is important to look to the future. While many high school students “spend more time looking side to side,” he said, he encourages everyone to look forward, be themselves, and do what they love. And he has one final message for CHS students before he graduates:

“To all black kids who feel like they are ‘not black enough,’ or the ‘weird black kid’ or things that people like to say to you when you’re not ‘stereotypically black,’ don’t ever mold or bend your natural way of doing things to please other people. Be the most obnoxious version of you that you can be and in time you’ll see how much happiness and success will come your way.”