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American Dream - Ben Carson

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Submitted By aschiess001
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Been Carson is a man of determination, a man of Dreams! Ben Came from a poor family living in detroit but his mother was an inspiration to not let his status hold him back from his dreams. Benjamin Carson was born sept. 18, 1951 to Sonya and Robert Carson. He was their second son. His mother dropped out of school in 3rd grade. Robert was a baptist minister. At the age of 8 years old Ben’s dad left them for another family, even though at the time 1959 Ben and his brother Curtis, age 10 were not told the exact reason as to why their dad left. This left Ben hurting tremendously as he loved his dad. For weeks Been would question his mother about the situation and he would pray that God help his parents get back together. Eventually he came to realize they could make it without him. “But dad never came home again. As the days and weeks passed, I learned we could get by without him. We were poorer than, and I could tell mother worried, although she didn’t say much to Curtis or me” (Curtis, Ben). After his dad left for good the family was even poorer than before. Sonja would try to get child support from Robert but he would never provide enough and would only give some money for a month or two after court and then he would stop again. In spite of the financial struggles they faced, the boys always had something to eat and a roof over their head. Their mother, Sonja had to work multiple jobs, one right after the other in order to be able to support the 3 of them. This resulted in having to be away from the boys for most of the day. His mother truly believed they could do and be anything they wanted and she drilled this into their heads everyday. She was tough on the boys in that she took away t.v. viewing other than jeopardy and made them read. 2 books per week and turn in book reports even though she couldn’t read them. This helped the boys learn a lot and instilled an importance of education. Despite a rough start in life with the childhood struggles his family had his mother taught the boys to work hard and never give up. At first Ben struggled in school. He got poor grades, being at the bottom of his class. He also developed a temper which got him in trouble, but he learned to rise above this. During his early education he attended a school that was very competitive. The other kids would pick on him and call him dummy. Ben started reading a lot and he really enjoyed it. he started to get self-confidence from this knowledge he was gaining. They discovered in 5th grade that he needed glasses. Once he started gaining knowledge and had his glasses his grades started to improve and the taunting stopped. However even with the respect of other kids and better grades he developed a bad temper. He overcame the struggle with grades but now needed to overcome his temper. Carson remembers a time he tried to hit his mother over the head with a hammer just because they did not agree on what he should wear to an interview with the academy of Achievement. He also recalls an argument with a classmate over a locker where he cut the boy’s head. He also tells about the terrifying incident when he got mad at a friend for simply changing the radio station and he stabbed the boy and he almost died. This made him realize his temper and the need to change. He started praying to God to help him deal with his anger problem. When he read the book of proverbs in the bible “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” This phrase in the bible helped him to realize he could control his anger instead of allowing it to control him. Once he got control of his anger he began to focus more on improving his life through education. He studied hard and got good grades and even was the go to person for classmates that needed help. He went from bottom of the class to being top of the class. Not only did he overcome temper, poor grades and bullying but he also was inspiration to himself and others. While Ben Carson did struggle in school, with the help of his mother he had determination to work harder and succeed. After graduating from Yale University in 1973, Ben entered into the school of Michigan to become a neurosurgeon. He eventually landed a position at John Hopkins University. All his hard work payed off and he ended up getting a scholarship to go to Yale University. At Yale he studied psychology and also met the women he would eventually marry and have children with named Lacena Rustin. He graduated from Yale University in 1973 with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. Then he enrolled in the school of medicine at the University of Michigan because he decided to become a neurosurgeon rather than a psychologist. While attending the school of medicine he married Lacena in 1975. He graduated from the University of Michigan with his medical degree in 1977. He and his wife moved to Maryland and became a resident at John’s Hopkins University. Carson worked very hard in college and gives credit to his mentor, Dr. James Taren, a neurosurgeon who Ben says influenced him greatly in his last 2 years at medical school. “The person in the bed isn’t just a patient, but a human being with a name and life outside the hospital.” The start of his career began when he was offered a position at John Hopkins medical institution, where he became a well known neurosurgeon. This position was to be a resident in neurosurgery and by 1982 he was the chief resident in neurosurgery. Nurses would speak to him as an orderly because at that time the only black people on that ward with scrubs on was an orderly. In 1983 he received an invitation to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, Australia. Going to Australia really helped him to get better at his career. Australia was lacking people in his field so he got way more patients and experience than he would have in America. Carson states in his book Gifted Hands “In my one year there I got so much surgical experience that my skills were honed tremendously, and I felt remarkably capable and comfortable working on the brain” (Carson, Ben). In 1984 carson returned to John Hopkins and used his experiences from Australia to advance in his career. He became director of pediatric surgery in 1985 and had many challenging cases. 1 miraculous case was that of a four year old girl who had been having seizure since 18 months. He decided to perform a hemispherectomy which is a procedure to remove ½ the patient's brain. The surgery took more than 8 hours but was successful. He performed many of these procedures during his career and only lost one 11 month old baby. In september 1987 Ben had to separate a pair of conjoined twins, joined at the head. This operation took 22 hours to complete, this was the first successful operation like this. Then in 1994 Carson did another operation similar to this separation on the Makwaeba twins in South Africa, sadly this time the operation was unsuccessful and the twins died. Ben performed 3 times as many operations than other neurosurgeons. He always has composers such as Bach and Schubert playing during the operations to keep him calm. On July 1st 2013 Ben Carson retired from being a surgeon at 62 years old. Even though he retired from the medical career, he still is an American icon who inspires people everyday with efforts and his books. Ben Carson co-founded many organizations to help people. Ben Carson’s charity work he does is that he is a highly regarded motivational speaker. He has various audiences, he speaks at schools, civic groups, corporations and the president’s National Prayer Breakfast. Ben Carson is president and co founder of Carson scholars fund which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments. The scholarship fund is currently in 12 states and he is continually expanding. Ben also co-founded Angels of the OR which provides grants for families in need to get medical care for neurosurgery. He also wrote a few books that provide inspiration and information on becoming successful in life. HE is a member of the American Academy of Achievement, the Horatio Alger society of Distinguished Americans, he is board of disector to kellogg company, Coltco Wholesale corporation, etc. Ben also served on the president's council on Bioethics in 2004. Helping people is what makes Ben Carson happy, he is a man of many accomplishments and wants to help others achieve their goals and dreams. Ben is living the American Dream because he worked hard to get to where he is now and because of his dedication he was able to get a good job and be successful. Dr. Carson would not have been a success in life if it weren’t for the struggles he had to face as a child. Devotion and dedication played a huge role in his success but so did the fact that he was raised to view education as the most important thing to achieve. Without his mother's support and strict rules towards always doing your best and never giving up, he might have became a whole different individual. Yes, his accomplishment of becoming a neurosurgeon is mostly of his own dedication, devotion and willpower but without a supportive group of people in life it would have been much harder. Everything that happens in someones life helps them to become who they are. This includes things such as poverty, divorced parents or being divorced yourself, educational struggles, temper, or bad choices. We use the bad things to mold us into someone better. If you struggle to succeed, your success will be far more important than that of those who had everything given to them on a silver platter. Ben Carson now has been married for over 30 years and has 3 sons with with his wife Lacena. They live in West Friendship Maryland. His 3 sons are Ben Jr., Rhoeyce, and Murray. Ben Carson fought through his struggles to achieve his dream and to become financially and emotionally stable with a loving family to support him. Ben Carson once said “It doesn’t matter if you come from the inner city. People who fail in life are people who find lots of excuses. It’s never too late for a person to recognize that they have potential in themselves.” Some of the lessons Ben tries to give others through his speeches and books are to be a mentor. His mother never gave up trying to better their lives and he as a result of seeing his moms hard work for everything they had has also acquired this never give up attitude with his own life and wants others to do the same. Believe in yourself is also a value that he gained from his mother. She believed in her boys and kept telling them they can do better and this philosophy being drilled to them everyday helped Ben to start believing in himself which gave him the strength to get through anything. Be a mentor is one thing Ben discovered himself. He had a mentor at John Hopkins whom he looked up to and strived to be like, and he feels that it is important for everyone to be a mentor to someone else who needs one. It really helps you feel good about encouraging and helping someone else. There are many lessons that could be learned from Ben but these 3 are the ones I personally feel are the most important. Ben Carson overcame poverty, racism, learning difficulties, and a temper problem to be able to live his American dream, Everyone has potential to live their American dream too, you just have to try hard enough and believe in yourself. From a troubled youth to a renowned neurosurgeon, Ben Carson is an inspiration to all. It is not important where you come from, how wealthy you are, how you look, or what you wear, the importance of being able to achieve the American dream is working hard, helping others, loving yourself, surrounding yourself with supportive people and never giving up.

Citations

Ben Carson: Americans 'Being Played' by Those Who Seek Division." Newsmax. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2014. .

"Ben Carson Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 2014. Web. 16 May 2014. .

"Ben Carson." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004. "Ben Carson." Encyclopedia.com. HighBeam Research, 01 Jan. 2004. Web. 21 May 2014. .

"Ben Carson Tells of His Journey from Poverty." Ben Carson Tells of His Journey from Poverty. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 May 2014. .

"Benjamin Solomon Carson, Sr., M.D." Benjamin Solomon Carson, Sr., M.D. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 May 2014. .

Carson, Ben, and Cecil Murphey. Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010. Print.

Clarrissimeaux, Anne. "Never Give Up. Dr. Ben Carson’s Only Childhood Advantage: His Mother’s Encouragement." Success. Success Magazine, n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. .

Cruz, Eliel. "Dr. Ben Carson Was My Hero." The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post.com, 12 May 2014. Web. 21 May 2014. .…...

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