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Three Doctors encourage students to find mentors in others and each other

Feb. 23, 2007
By Andrew Johnson

Determination. Dedication. Discipline. Those words define three men who defied all expectations and became living proof that childhood ambitions can become a reality.

"Our story is about overcoming odds," Rameck Hunt said to an enthusiastic group of Upward Bound students this January. Hunt is a member of The Three Doctors -- an African-American trio that tours the country delivering their story of self-reliance and inspiration.

Want to share your story of determination, dedication and discipline? Become an Upward Bound E-mentor.

The mission of the E-Mentoring Program is to help form meaningful relationships online between Upward Bound students and college students or community professionals who share their career interests and goals.

Who can be a mentor?

  • Faculty or staff at institutions of higher education
  • Elementary or secondary school teachers
  • Professionals within the community
  • Ohio University students

As part of their yearlong commitment, mentors are expected to e-mail their mentees on a weekly basis, attend quarterly events, submit monthly logs of their interactions with their assigned mentee and periodically check the Web site for new training materials and updates.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor and would like to discuss the program further, contact Tiffany Laipply at 740-593-4417 or laipply@ohio.edu.

As teenagers, they made a pact to avoid the trappings of the streets, attend college and become doctors. More than a decade and a half later, New Jersey natives Drs. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins and Hunt have fulfilled that promise and encourage others to rise above the challenges they face.

The message resonated with the Upward Bound students from Columbus State Community College and Ohio University. 

"I learned anybody can succeed, no matter what you've been through," Upward Bound student Briana Yarbough said. "The amount of black professionals is limited. They were an excellent example to the minority."

The Upward Bound program recruits potential first-generation college students and provides academic, social and cultural experiences. Each student learns skills necessary to complete high school and thrive in post-secondary education. Eligibility for participation in the program is determined by annual family income, potential first-generation college student status, sophomore standing in an Upward Bound-participating high school and a 2.0 or higher cumulative GPA.

Speaking to the students, the doctors stressed education as a vital component to a successful future and maintained that lifelong friendships are crucial to achieving goals. 

"We have to push our youth toward college," Davis said. "We have to make it the norm, not the exception. We have to put a face to education."

As the doctors relayed stories of their youth in the drug-ridden neighborhoods of Newark, N.J., they told how they prioritized education over negative peer-pressure and dangerous lifestyle choices. 

"You have to surround yourself with like-minded people," Jenkins said. 

Citing role models such as a third-grade teacher who instilled everything from Shakespeare to ballet and a dentist who quizzed his patients on tooth trivia and each other, the doctors demonstrated the importance of a support system. 

"The Three Doctors have made an impact in helping students to realize perseverance is important," said Ayanna Jordan, Ohio University Upward Bound director. "We don't want students to be deterred from the academic track because of a negative experience." 

The Three Doctors are proof positive that support of family and friends is essential to staying on the academic track and getting to post-secondary education."

Elizabeth Minor, assistant director for Early Outreach in the President's Office for Diversity, agrees that students see first-hand that bonds and friendships will help defeat adversity so goals and dreams can be realized.

"I hope each student will be resolved to find a way to graduate from college," Minor said. "It is the idea of students saying, 'we're going to get through this no matter what the odds and achieve a dream.'"

Andrew Johnson is a student writer with University Communications and Marketing


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Published: Jul 20, 2006 3:50:00 PM
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