Friday, June 20, 2008
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