Guess what ? Today is International Mentoring Day and the celebration goes on all month ! I plan to take time throughout the month to celebrate my beloved mentors ❤️
￼Every day is a day to mentor 🤗. For me - Mentoring is life. I truly believe that when you’ve been blessed you MUST pass it on. It’s your duty. We all we got!! If not us then who? 🤔
Today I celebrate one of the legendary CAHMCPS Leaders, Dr Regnal Jones, brilliant biochemist at University of Chicago and my mentor that told me “daughter - you want to be a doctor? Than you’re going to be a doctor. That’s it!” Despite a laundry list of barriers that spoke to the contrary.
With love and a sense of paternal kindness he told me it wasn’t too late even though I already had 2 babies With one on the way. But He didn’t just tell I can do it he showed me how. Because Dr Jones told me I could do it, I believed it! He was the smartest man I knew! He couldn’t be wrong about me and right on everything else, so I believed him! Then he connected me to those who could help me and I acted on it and I started med school With 3 babies under 3 years old and didn’t miss a lick. I will never EVER forget Dr Jones - my first mentor in medicine.
I also celebrate the memory of my most beloved 2nd mentor in medicine that I met the summer before I started medical school at Rush. She was the tough as nails English and Writing Coach, Irene Turner, tasked with helping me with my personal statement for my medical school admissions application. I can recall like it was yesterday when she tossed it back to me and said “this is trash- redo it!!” It shocked me out of my shoes because I was always known for being a great writer throughout school and even college. She said, “stop apologizing. Your whole essay is an apology! You belong here. You aren’t begging for your seat - you’re coming to get it!”
The tears began to flow. I had no idea. I thought I was being responsible by being transparent in my writings about all of my hiccups along the way - I would mention all of my shortcomings first before they could point them out to me. I had no idea that I was so defeated that it permeated even my writing. On the inside I didn’t really think I deserved the opportunity or chance to become a doctor. Today they call it imposters syndrome. But on that day Irene Turner shoved a mirror in front of me and showed me something I had never fully appreciated until that point because she saw something that I did not clearly see until that day -
1) that I was perfect as God designed me even in my imperfections
2) I was fully capable even in my weakness and was talented, smart and yes - deserving.
3) And I didn’t have to apologize to anyone for nothing - not even in my essay. I was standing in my own space and I owned the space I stood in. Irene became a fierce advocate for me ￼and maternal figure of love and support. She even wrote one of my strongest letters of recommendation. She would not live a long life after God would bless her to be a part of my journey. Pancreatic cancer viciously and unfairly took her away from me and those she touched. I truly celebrate this tiny legend who transformed my vision of myself and I miss her so much.
Let’s take a moment to share about the mentors that transformed our lives! ❤️