What takes a young man from a life of poverty in inner-city Detroit to a life of saving lives as a world renowned neurosurgeon? Simply, a mother’s love and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
Dr. Ben Carson will share his remarkable story with students, parents, educators and community members at the “Success for Every Student” Conference, to be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 19, at Overland High School, 12400 E. Jewell Avenue, Aurora, CO 80012. Tickets are $3 for elementary school students, $5 for middle and high school students, and $10 for adults. You can purchase tickets at Prairie Middle School or online at www.pms.ccsd.k12.co.us
Known as “the man with the gifted hands,” Dr. Carson credits his mother, who had only a third grade education, for instilling in him a love for reading that led to a passion for science. With her support, he graduated from high school with honors and gained admission to Yale University where he earned a degree in Psychology.
He then went on to the University of Michigan Medical School, where his interest shifted from psychiatry to neurosurgery. Dr. Carson realized that his excellent hand-eye coordination and ability to visualize the brain in three-dimensions were gifts he could put to good use as a neurosurgeon.
At age 33, he became the youngest physician ever to head a major division at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he has performed hundreds of ground-breaking surgeries, including the first successful separation of Siamese twins who were joined at the back of the head.
Dr. Carson’s appearance at the Success for Every Student Conference highlights the importance of STEM education, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEM education is the focus of the Institute of Science & Technology, which opened in August on the Overland High School-Prairie Middle School campus. The Institute provides a rigorous STEM curriculum and gives students the opportunity to explore career opportunities in medicine and other STEM fields.
“We know there is a growing demand for qualified employees in STEM fields,” said parent Rhetta Shead. “It’s vital that our children have a strong foundation in STEM education so they can succeed in college or other post-secondary training, and then compete successfully for those in-demand, well-paid STEM jobs.”
The Prairie and Overland community has sponsored the Success for Every Student Conference for the past five years, bringing in notable speakers including Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children’s Zone, who was featured in the movie “Waiting for Superman;” Chris Gardner, author of “The Pursuit of Happyness,” which was made into a feature film starring actor Will Smith; CSI: NY star Hill Harper; Dr. Donna Ford, an expert in gifted and multicultural education; and “The Doctors,” three African-American men who beat the odds and became doctors. The conferences are an important part of the school-community efforts to raise the achievement of all students and close the achievement gap.