Friday, June 20, 2008

The Carson Scholars Fund

Dr. Benjamin Carson receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, June 2008
On June 19th, noted African American neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin S. Carson received the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom award for his groundbreaking contributions to medicine and for his inspiring efforts to help America's youth fulfill their potential.

Many of you reading this probably know of Dr. Carson, who rose from poverty to become a pediatric neurosurgeon and director of pediatric surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, but did you know that he and his wife Candy have established a scholarship fund, giving away thousands of dollars to deserving students every year? The Carson Scholars Fund has provided over 3,400 scholarships for the past 14 years. He recently stated he's glad that people are beginning to recognize his charity work:

"I was just very grateful that people are starting to recognize some of the work I am trying to do," Carson, 56, said in an interview after the ceremony, referring to his promotion of reading programs and college education for at-risk high school students. He called high school dropout rates an "epidemic," and said, "Sometimes I feel people aren't paying attention." (You tell 'em Dr. Carson!)

Dr. Carson's mother was also recognized during the award ceremony by President Bush, a woman who instilled the importance of education and reading at an early age to her children, although she herself just had a third grade education. Remarks from President Bush:

"Ben would be the first to tell you that his remarkable story would not be possible without the support of a woman who raised him and is at his side today. Some moms are simply forces of nature who never take no for an answer. I understand. (Laughter.) Ben Carson's mom had a life filled with challenges. She was married at the age of 13, and ultimately was left to raise her two sons alone. She made their education a high priority. Every week the boys would have to check out library books and write reports on them. She would hand them back with check marks, as though she had reviewed them -- never letting on that she couldn't read them. Even in the toughest times, she always encouraged her children's dreams. She never allowed them to see themselves as victims. She never, ever gave up."

The Carson Scholars Fund

The scholarship fund recognizes and rewards students in grades 4 through 11, who strive for academic excellence and community service. Some of the states/cities the fund operates in are Maryland, D.C., Atlanta, St. Louis, Pittsburg and Seattle. In addition, the fund sponsors Ben Carson Reading Rooms in schools across the country designed to encourage the joy of reading in a warm, inviting environment.

For more information on the Carson Scholars Fund or to establish a Ben Carson Reading Room in your school or organization, visit the website here.


Source: Baltimore Sun, White House.gov
Photo: Getty

4 comments:

Bronze Trinity said...

OMG his mother made them write reports she couldn't read!? That's so sad but at the same time inspiring. Parents can help their kids even if they aren't very educated. She must be so proud of Dr. Carson. What an amazing story!

Tracey said...

Hey bronze trinity!

His mother is very proud of him - I read she was standing up and waving at the ceremony!

And yes, you're right - his story shows that even if a parent has limited math or English skills, they can still help their children succeed in school. You just have to be creative!

Loantrader said...

The power of reading is so under appreciated that the USA and the Black population continues to fail. Each successful child has read more books than the onese who fail. It does not take a rocket scientist to identify the source of success.
To be able to read a child needs to know words just as a musician has to know notes to make music.
To improve grades a child needs to increase reading.
There is nothing that we now know that is not in a book somewhere.
The greatest President yet had less than 3 years of formal schooling but he distinguished himself over all the men and women then alive by his reading ability.
President Abraham Lincoln taught himself everything he needed to lead his Armed Forces and the Government. Today we can do so much more. Over 16000 books have been written about his life which is God's way of saying books maketh the man or woman who reads.
Those books are the greatest monument to his life.
Dr Ben Carson's life proves this in a miraculous way. Reading is the magic potion to success.

missknownothing said...

Yes we can! we can turn the Tv off, we can send our children to school well fed, we can encourage our children everyday to do their best. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to have your child to become one. Let us think big, no more focusing on lack of, however, be diligent about making sure your children receive a quality education. We can and we will.