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PharmD Pharmacy, African-American

A black man born and raised in America's deep-south, I am keenly aware of the value of advanced education in overcoming the stagnation which engulfs so many of my people. I try and straddle the moral fence of helping others only insofar as this does not limit my own ability to grow, lead, and prosper myself. Helping others at the same time is not so easy yet I always try. I have focused on Pharmacy, in part, because it makes life longer and more comfortable. It is my sincere hope to make social contributions as a pharmacist, especially with respect to the black community. I troubled by the fact that I sometimes see more black pharmacists on television commercials than I often do in the real world, and I look forward to being a role model for black people in my community, especially boys and young men.

My academic and professional interests have also been heavily influenced by my Master's degree, the MPPA in Public Policy and Administration. It is my fondest hope to have an active role in the future at the level of policy creation and implementation, struggling towards a more adequate distribution of life saving medications to those who need them the most. Among my greatest passions in life are old people, especially those who suffer from debilitating diseases; and I have developed a special interest in medical and pharmaceutical progress in battling Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease. I have come into contact with a great number of people who suffer from these diseases and these relationships have greatly fortified my interests. My long term goals for my professional future include helping to expose young African American students to the rich human possibilities of becoming a pharmacist.

I have been a store manager for Walgreens for several years and have become very involved with pharmacy, constantly working with both patients and pharmacists. As a result, I have made the decision to follow my passion to graduate school where I can learn much more in a more intense and rigorous fashion. In my community, I have frequently attended career fairs in the inner city helping to expose young people to the possibilities that exist if one is very determined and puts one's mind to it. I am especially proud of my work with employees when I was the store manager of an inner-city store in Memphis, TN. No less than three of the high school students who worked in my store have gone on to study pharmacy. Another is in college studying a pre-Law academic track. When he originally came to work for me he had not yet recognized attending college as a viable alternative.

I am dedicated and determined. In order to fill my prerequisites, for example, I have attended 3 different colleges two of which are an hour away--studying at night so as to manage my store during the day. I plan to continue to be very much involved with inner city youth as I see this as key to our struggle to become a more humane society. And I am proud to do this as a pharmacy professional who promotes the study of math and science as fundamental to success in our high-tech society. I believe that exposure to knowledge is power and there are so many of our youth who live in areas where they only see one truth but if we shine the light on what young people could become, they have a much greater chance of walking into that light.

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