Dr. Benjamin Carson’s speech to Woodlawn High students broadcast live to more than 3,000 students


Dr. Carson inspires Woodlawn High students.

On Monday, November 14, 2011, Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital pediatric neurosurgeon and co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, delivered an inspiring speech to all 1,521 students at Woodlawn High School, selected Arbutus Middle School students, and through Safari Live web-conferencing and the new Safari Montage TV Broadcast System to every Baltimore County Public Schools’ middle school. More than 3,000 students participated virtually, and students expressed amazement that they could watch Dr. Carson’s speech as it was being delivered. 

According to the Carson Scholars Fund, Monday’s broadcast marks the first time that Dr. Carson has allowed a school system to utilize web-conferencing to disseminate his message to a much larger audience. 

In his speech, Dr. Carson urged students to identify and develop “their personal gifts” and to take “personal responsibility to make sure they have the basic building blocks in math and science because our country needs students to pursue STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] careers.”

Echoing students throughout the county, Windsor Mill Middle School student Oumou Diallo said he learned that “You can get anything you want in life…based on perseverance and how much [you] want it. Ben Carson is an inspiration to all of us and especially me.” 

After hearing Dr. Carson describe a young girl who rose to the top of her math class after an operation that removed her left hemisphere [which is thought to play a dominant role in calculations, math, and logical abilities], Windsor Mill Middle School student Zeguela Kamagate noted that “Reading and math shouldn’t be complicated unless you make it.  If you have all parts of your brain, you can be the top of your class.”  

Students from across the county agreed with Windsor Mill Middle School student Lindsey Armah who said, “Dr. Carson’s speech was to persuade people, especially our generation, to do our best.  Dr. Carson gave us different examples of how much more we can do and told us about other people’s achievements.”

Broadcasting live to more than 3,000 students would not have happened without the invaluable assistance of Woodlawn High Principal Brian Scriven, Guidance Chair Ashley Gallant, the Department of Technology, Office of Library Information Services, librarians at every middle school, and the incredible talents of Gregory Johnson, Woodlawn High school counselor and TV studio advisor, and Woodlawn High students Jonathan Elder, Rashad Mitchell, Jaspreet Kaur, Monia Rashid, Danial Sheikh, and Samiz Zahid. 


Story by Sharon Grimes, supervisor, Office of Library Information Services. Photo by Sambhav Shrestha, student, Woodlawn High School.
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