Surgeon looks to inspire black youth
If Dr. Roderick Claybrooks had his way, academic superstars would be as popular as “American Idol” and as publicized as the Super Bowl.
It pains him that many youths “especially African-American boys and girls” see entertainment or athletics as their only ticket to success.
“You have a much better chance of becoming a surgeon than of becoming the next Kobe Bryant,” Claybrooks, a spine surgeon, tells them.
To which he often gets a puzzled look. But Claybrooks, 36, doesn’t back down.
He backs it up with numbers.
He says there are about 400 men playing in the NBA, but hundreds of thousands of doctors. There are 921,904 physicians, including 161,370 surgeons, in the United States, according to the American Medical Association.
“An education, a good education, is the surest ticket out of the ghetto,” Claybrooks says emphatically.
He knows because, although he didn’t grow up poor, education opened doors to opportunities he would have had no other way.
He’s so convinced of it that he wrote “The Black Student’s Guide to Success” and published it himself late last year.
Claybrooks says he was driven to write the book because it bothered him that so many kids he talked to had limited aspirations and many people he treated had promise but were doing nothing to develop their potential.
National radio personality Steve Harvey was so impressed with Claybrooks and his message, “he interviewed him on his nationally syndicated show” that he invited him to be among a group of people from a variety of professions to speak to 100 students at the Disney Dreamers Academy in Florida last month.
Read the entire article at Contra Costa Times