THE EPITOME OF GREATNESS
To conclude my Black History Month tribute, I want to recognize three men who are the epitome of greatness. I first heard their powerful story while watching the Essence Awards on television back in 2000. Their names are Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins. Together they are known as The Three Doctors.
When I first heard the story of The Three Doctors, I was blown away! Once upon a time, life was hard for the three of them. They grew up in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey, where they were surrounded by crime and drugs every day.
Let me tell you their story.
DR. SAMPSON DAVIS
Dr. Davis was born on January 19, 1973, in Newark, New Jersey, into a family of six children. Although he was surrounded by negativity, he didn’t let that stop him from excelling in school. Dr. Davis says that education “saved my life”. After graduating from University High in Newark, he enrolled at Seton Hall University. Later, Dr. Davis was accepted into the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and received his medical degree in 1999 at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He then went on to complete his residency in emergency medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Today, Dr. Davis is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician at several emergency departments in New Jersey.
DR. RAMECK HUNT
Dr. Hunt was born on May 1, 1973, in Orange, New Jersey. His mother was only a teenager when she had him, so he often had to live with his grandmother. When he was fourteen years old, he went to Newark to live with his uncle. He started attending University High, where he met Sampson Davis and George Jenkins. Becoming friends with the two of them was a blessing in disguise for Dr. Hunt. Growing up, Dr. Hunt had some anger issues and sometimes got into trouble. Because he was hanging with the wrong crowd, he wound up in juvenile detention at the age of sixteen. Fortunately, that was the wake up call he needed. That experience made him realize that a good education was his ticket to a better life.
After graduating from high school, Dr. Hunt attended Seton Hall. From there he went on to Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and graduated in 1999. He then completed a residency in internal medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Today, Dr. Hunt is a Board certified internist at University Medical Center at Princeton University and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
DR. GEORGE JENKINS
Dr. Jenkins was born on February 6, 1973, in Newark, New Jersey. When he was thirteen years old, he became fascinated with the dental profession after visiting a dental clinic. He knew then that he wanted to become a dentist. So, like Davis and Hunt, he too went on to attend Seton Hall. Afterwards, he completed his D.M.D. at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Today, Dr. Jenkins is an Assistant Professor of clinical dentistry at Columbia University.
I share the story of The Three Doctors because it speaks to the power of togetherness, unity, and brotherhood! While they were still in high school, they made a pact with each other that they would become doctors. They agreed to study together, encourage each other, and support each other every step of the way. At a young age, these men learned how to be each other’s support system.
I first read their inspiring book The Pact about eight years ago. In the book, they are very transparent about the ups and downs they faced while pursuing their dreams. It wasn’t an easy road for the three of them. They ran into obstacles along the way, including financial obstacles. Anyone who has been to college knows it is not cheap. Many have dropped out of college because of the financial pressures. The Three Doctors even felt like giving up. Nevertheless, they stayed true to their pact and didn’t deviate from the plan. Their constant support of one another is one of the main reasons they chose to attend the same college and medical school. They chose Seton Hall University, in particular, because it offered a program for minority students, who were interested in careers in the medical field.
The Three Doctors have made such an impact in the lives of others. In addition to their careers, together they have written three books. The first one is called The Pact. The second one is a children’s book called We Beat the Streets. The third book is entitled The Bond, which focuses on fatherhood relationships.
The Three Doctors also have a non-profit organization called The Three Doctors Foundation. The foundation provides free health, education and mentoring programs for youth and families in the New York and New Jersey areas.
Drs. Davis, Hunt and Jenkins have received many awards, including the Essence Award and the BET Honors Award. They have even served as featured medical experts for The Tom Joyner Morning Show and for CNN News. They were also guests on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
After reading their book, I am most amazed that, even as youth, The Three Doctors were able to recognize the unique greatness God had placed inside of them. If no one else saw it, they did! Moreover, they understood that if they were going to achieve greatness, they would need each other! They are true role models, not just for black youth, but for all youth, especially for those who don’t have positive role models in their neighborhoods and homes.
Just like Drs. Davis, Hunt and Jenkins, God has placed a unique greatness inside of YOU! What do you desire to do that you’re afraid to do because no one in your neighborhood or family has ever done it before? What do you desire to do that people have told you you can’t do? You don’t have to settle for achieving less to make those around you feel comfortable. It’s not about them anyway—–including family! It’s about YOU and what God has enabled YOU to do! As children of God, we’re not called to be ordinary, but EXTRAordinary. 1 Peter 2:9 says:
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
Children of God, believers in Christ Jesus, YOU ARE SPECIAL! Don’t limit yourself based on other people’s opinions, but see yourself through the eyes of God. Pray that God will surround you with like-minded people who will support you.
Furthermore, as you pursue your dreams, keep this final thought in mind. I recently heard a friend say, “If your dreams don’t scare you, then they’re not big enough!” Therefore, don’t settle for mediocrity, but follow the example of The Three Doctors and be the BEST God has created you to be!
(“The Kimberly Joy Show: Honoring The Three Doctors for Black History Month”)
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