Especially for Youth
I was raised by my mother and grandmother, and they taught me to do my best and to help others in my community. I excelled in academics becoming the valedictorian of my high school class but always found time to volunteer in my community. I was active in Girl Scouts and became a First Class Girl Scout in high school. I enjoyed participating in extracurricular activities because they were fun, and I also knew that colleges looked for students who were involved in a wide array of activities. As a tween, I belonged to a bowling league and played recreation softball. In high school, I was a member of the school chorus, captain of the volleyball team, girls basketball statistician, threw the javelin, shot put, and discus for winter track and participated in a number of clubs. I was good in volleyball but not so good in track although I tried my best. Let’s say, throwing heavy objects was not my strong point. I also was an active member in my church serving on the usher board and singing in the choir.
Growing up I fell into the category of “one of those smart people.” You also might have called me a “bookworm” or “geek”. I was very quiet and shy and was always afraid to make a mistake or say the wrong thing. I was one of those students who would only raise my hand when I knew the answer was right because I didn’t want to look stupid.
After high school I attended Princeton University where I majored in English and concentrated in African-American Studies while simultaneously taking the pre-medical requirements for medical school. Princeton was challenging but the study habits I developed in middle school and high school allowed me to graduate successfully and to attend the University of Pennsylvania for medical school and Georgetown for my pediatric residency.
Now why am I telling you this? I am sharing this with you because I grew up with the doubts and feelings of not belonging that many of you experience. It doesn’t matter if you are fat, skinny, awkward, popular, weird, artsy, or shy. It doesn’t matter whether you are in Honors classes or in special education; a follower or a leader. No matter who you are, it’s tough growing up and you have a lot to deal with.
This website is designed to give you key information to successfully maneuver the ups and downs of your life. You were born with special talents and gifts that are uniquely yours. Use this website to gain the knowledge, confidence, and reassurance you need to let your light shine and show the world who you really are. You are great—know it, believe it, live it! Greatness lies within. Unleash it!