I have heard that question so frequently the past few months and, frankly, it is hard to elucidate a response that is both swift and palatable. I have been keeping quite busy. From an awesome job to speeches to a medical school decision – this has truly been an exciting season in my life. Ready to hear about it?
Earlier this year I began an Administrative Fellowship at AmeriHealth Caritas (Philadelphia), a managed care company that has a sincere bend towards aiding the underserved. The President, Michael Rashid, an incredible visionary and leader, wanted me to experience the business side of medicine before the full educational immersion of healing and treating in medical school. He placed me with the nation’s best Diversity and Inclusion Director, Kelley Cornish, and charged me with learning about Medicaid, Medicare, claims, provider networks, care coordination and more. Kelley has been an uber-helpful manager in transitioning me from the gridiron to corporate America back to academia. She is smart, engaging, understanding and I nicknamed her The Great and Powerful because she must use wizardry to solve these complex problems we see daily. AmeriHealth Caritas, its mission of serving the poor, and its associates like Michael and Kelley are exactly what I needed in this station of my life. I am very thankful.
When I am not at the Fellowship, I have been traveling often. My older brother, McKinley, was just initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. in Jacksonville, FL so I accompanied him as he entered our great organization. A week later, the Myron L. Rolle Foundation hosted the 1st Annual ‘Rhodes to Success’ – an academic workshop for at-risk foster children in the central Florida region. We held this program in Orlando in conjunction with Wells Fargo and the Florida Department of Children and Families. Next, I spoke at the Honors Convocation at North Carolina Central University (Durham, NC) to some brilliant young scholars and the ACC Postgraduate Scholarship Luncheon (Greensboro, NC) to high achieving student-athletes. I just returned from a week long United Kingdom Youth Outreach tour on behalf of the US State Department. I spoke to Capital City Academy, Harris Academy Crystal Palace, Harris Academy Peckham, Oxford University (Teddy Hall), and the Active Change Foundation. I absolutely loved the kids I met as they asked profound questions and seemed to connect with my message of equipping your tool belt to be the future leaders of tomorrow. We also threw the American football around a bit which went over quite well to a group used to soccer and rugby!
So where to spend the next four years of my life learning to be an excellent physician? Thankfully, my athletic, academic and philanthropic resume made me a decent candidate for medical schools around the country. And I thought about these factors: 1) the school’s mission meeting my ideology; 2) where I wanted to practice in the future; 3) where my foundation could intersect with my studies; 4) and how much interest a school/community has expressed in me throughout the years. After gathering that information, the choice was clear. I will be attending Florida State University College of Medicine this fall. I am excited and my cup runneth over. So if you see me eating at ‘Up in Smoke’ on Tennessee over the next four years (which I plan to a lot!), make sure you say hello.
That is all I have for now. I pray all of you go forward into this season of your life with the utmost conviction that YOU WILL MAKE IT! And once you do, you become the example that that one person needed to believe he/she can make it too!