This post was authored by Lisa Egbuonu-Davis, M.D., Vice President, Global Patient Centered Outcomes & Solutions, who, in honor of Black History Month, shares her story about why she is committed to supporting gifted students from underrepresented minorities and socioeconomic disadvantaged groups. Lisa is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health.
I’m very passionate about advocating for gifted students from disadvantaged backgrounds – it’s something that brings me back to my own childhood on Long Island, New York. I will never forget the teachers who recognized and nurtured my strong science and math skills and gave me opportunities that are not generally available to children from low-income families like mine.
Today, I’m working to support talented students from underrepresented minorities and lower economic brackets through the work I do on the Johns Hopkins’ School of Education National Advisory Council. I’ve also advised previous School of Education deans on their STEM education-related programs.
We’re seeing people of color and those from lower economic brackets represent growing portions of our society. Yet, the pipeline for developing our youth to succeed at the highest levels — future physicians, PhDs and corporate leaders, for example — is dwindling. People need to see the excellence gap as an area of public need. Focusing only on basic competency means that there won’t be another generation of people like me.
Last summer, while I was on campus at Hopkins, I met Jonathan Plucker who is a nationally recognized education policy expert working with the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. I was energized by our discussion about national policy challenges and how Dr. Plucker’s work could lead to meaningful action. I believe he can elevate the excellence gap conversation from analysis to solutions, and I’m proud to channel my personal passion and gifts to support his research.
Watch for our next Speaking of Sanofi blog post as we continue to commemorate Black History Month with Tanisha M. Sullivan who shares her story about her election as President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – Boston Branch.