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Polycom Employee

In celebration of Black History month, six classes with over 200 students from Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, and a class of students majoring in education along with faculty from Bob Jones University in South Carolina connected to interview Dr. Ben Carson, Director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Students read one or more of his books or watched the movie, Gifted Hands.  Each site prepared questions using the ASK process. This program is one of the Polycom Special Events , with bridging provided by Internet2.  Here are some of the topics and answers from today’s videoconference:



  • “Don’t let anyone discourage you because a career takes too many years. The more you know and know how to do something, the more you have to offer. To be successful in any career, learn everything you can, not just what is required. Whatever you decide to do, do it well.”  
  • “Choose a career that you are good at and enjoy doing.  Take advantage of your God-given talents.”
  • “Be the captain of your ship, you get to choose the direction you take.”


  • “It is so important for the populace of this country to be well-educated. You have the ability to be educated with all of the resources available to you, i.e., the Internet, the library, your teachers, etc. You need to be serious about your education.”
  • “I have never met a great person who couldn’t point to a teacher.”
  • “Teachers can be an enormous resource for you, respect them and help them to do their job.”


  • “You gain confidence by taking responsibility, knowing it is up to you. I learned I had the responsibility to educate myself so I could compete with anybody in the world.”
  • “The person who has the most to do with your education is you.”
  • “When people put their lives in your hands you have to be responsible, focused, knowledgeable, and competent at what you do.”
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Occasional Visitor

Dr Carson is a great American hero.  He did not achieve that status in a blaze of glory on a battlefield but rather by a lifetime of self-discipline, service, and sacrifice.  The quiet courage of a Dr Carson is all the more remarkable for the humility that accompanies this gentle man of great accomplishment.  


Throughout the hour Dr Carson spoke gently but with great compassion.  He underscored with his words many of the principles exemplified in his life's story:  "Get yourself out of the middle of the circle" and you will have a lot better perspective on what's going on around you.  And what an appealing proposition -- "Go to the library and you can learn things there that no one else knows"!  And words of inspiration for teachers, 'I've never met a great person who couldn't point to a teacher."


It speaks volumes that a busy man like Dr Carson would make himself available to talk with kids in this manner.  I seriously doubt that at the end of the hour Dr Carson had gleaned any knowledge from his audience.  I do, though, hope that he came away sensing the esteem in which all of the participants -- young and old alike -- hold this profoundly gifted man.


A special thanks, too, to Polycom for facilitating an event where so many of us could come face-to-face with greatness.

Regular Collector

Looked like a wonderful event Elaine and thank you for blogging about him. I am inspired through his quotations already!  Lynnette Whitfield

Occasional Contributor

Dr. Carson's nuggets of wisdom are an inspiration to those who haven't heard them and a reminder to keep on trying to those of us who have.

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