He went from the bottom of his class, to world renowned neurosurgeon. Now, he's inspiring kids to dream big.
Ben Carson M.D., a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was the guest speaker at the Building Hope Community Life Center's annual banquet.
He's considered one of the most influential medical minds in the world, most known for being the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins connected at the head. But if you ask Dr. Carson about his childhood,"poor self esteem, terrible grades, terrible temper, all things most people would say is likely to destine someone for failure," explained Carson.
He grew up in inner-city Detroit, raised by a single mother who was determined to change his life.
With only a third grade education she made Carson read and write book reports. Reports she couldn't barley read herself. And while Carson wasn't initially excited about it, "back in those days you had to do what your parents said so I started reading all those books," he said.
And that was his way out.
"I began to recognize, you're the person who actually has the most to do what happens to you. It's not the environment, it's not somebody else," he said.
That message is what he shared to hundreds of people who came out to support the Building Hope Community Life Center. An organization dedicated to giving at-risk kids a second chance. Mentoring them, teaching them life skills, and helping them discover their own path for success
"Everybody, regardless of your station in life has problems. Success or failure is depending on how you face those problems," said Carson.
So does it work? Just ask the kids.
"It's helped me become a better man. Helped me to learn how to stay humble and stay focused on my dreams," said Kenny Butcher Jr.
"I've always had a slight attitude problem and a little selfishness and Building Hope has brought me down and open their arms around me and taught me it's not all about you Maxine," said Maxine Ford.
"Building Hope is like a second chance and allows people to change," said Jarmarcus Patterson.
"Building Hope is just a place of friendship, love, caring, and good times," said Alicia Ford.
"I do want to see new faces. I welcome anybody. Watch yourself change," said Ziquam Whitley
"All of our young people are our legacy," said Carson "and if we give them the right values early on, then we don't have to work about what's going on later in life."
Building Hope Community Life Center relies on donations to keep providing for these youth. You can find out more here.
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