Writing a review for this book was a difficult task, not because of the content, but because most of what I want to say is already on the jacket of the book or has been said in another review. Then it hit me. Profile each character separately and then talk about how this book made me feel; so here goes. One of the three dreamed of becoming a dentist then persuaded his friends to apply to the Pre Medical - Pre Dental Plus program. Free college, free tutoring and help getting into dental school, the Pact was made. Neither of the three thought beyond the Pact. What would happen if one of us didn't make it, what would happen if one of us changed our minds?
Dr George Jenkins was born in South Carolina to George Jenkins, Sr. and Ella Jenkins Mack. At the age of two his parents divorced, mother and two sons moved to Newark, New Jersey. George was the curious one; his curiosity was peaked by his third grade teacher Viola Johnson. She took the class to see Broadway plays, and gave them some culture and taught them to have respect for themselves. She constantly told the class, get those degrees! get those degrees!
Dr. Sampson Davis born in 1973 to Ruthener Davis in Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, NJ. His mom married Kenneth Davis at the early age of fifteen and divorced him ten years later. Sam was very popular in his neighborhood, he loved numbers and of the three he was the analyst. He was also the man-child whom his mother looked to for things she couldn't do like reading her mail and making bank deposits to pay the bills.
Dr. Rameck Hunt also born in 1973 lived with his mother and grandmother he called Ma. He was the skeptical one of the three. Both his parent were strung out on drugs at one time or another.
These three inner city youths beat the odds placed at their feet. They knew how to count their blessing and recognize an angel when he or she walked into their lives. The Pre-Medical /Pre-Dental Plus program was and still is one of the programs under EOP (Educational Opportunity Program) If you have a dream don't allow anyone to snatch that from you. You too can become a doctor don't aim for the sky reach above it. Go on make your Pact today and prove them all wrong who said you couldn't. I loved this book and recommend it to everyone...
on June 23, 2002
There are times that I think my life was or still is hard. Well, I'm a black female who grew up in a middle-class home with two teachers as parents. College was as automatic as sleeping and eating. But, for these young men in the book "The Pact", college was as uncertain as winning the lottery. I always knew that our young black boys growing up in the inner-city had it super hard, but this book allowed me to see another side of our young brothas. They all have dreams as little kids, even though they don't see anyone in their neighborhood to emulate. Somehow, someway, Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins all found the determination to succeed and become doctors. Their positive story is proof that just one person can make a difference in a kid's life. Everyone needs someone to look up to; someone to follow.
We all have gifts we can share. Read this book and feel blessed that someone in your life took the time to mentor you and be there for you; not everyone has that in their lives. I am so proud of these young men! Not only are they smart and positive, but they are cute too! What a great combination! God has truly blessed them and their family.
What a refreshing book. Thanks to Tavis Smiley for recommending it on the Tom Joyner Show.
on March 18, 2006
What happens when three young African-American men from the projects in Newark, NJ make a pact to become doctors? With determination, discipline, perseverance, a little luck and Divine intervention, and each other's support, they become doctors. The Pact is the true story of three such young men, inspired by George Jenkins' dream of becoming a dentist. The doctors alternate telling their stories of living in mostly single parent homes in neighborhoods rife with crack heads and stray bullets. The three became friends at University High, a magnet school for gifted and talented students. Their senior year, a recruiter from Seton Hall's Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Plus Program, part of an Equal Opportunity Program created to make higher education accessible for poor students, spoke and rekindled George's interest in dentistry. He convinced the others to apply to Seton Hall, attend college, and medical school together. Their pact, similar to the Three Musketeers "All for one, and one for all," enabled each to achieve more than they could have ever imagined. The Pact provides a powerful message of friendship's positive influence.
The importance of friendship is the overall theme of these doctors' story. Each agrees that life would be very different had they not agreed to support each other. They also acknowledge the support of significant others-family members, teachers, counselors, even their n'er-do-well friends. The power of their pact, knowing that the others would be disappointed, or striving to keep up with each other is what kept them alive, or from becoming statistics in the NJ penal system. Their friendship didn't end at the conclusion of medical school, but continues today. They honor their accomplishments and the people and circumstances that enabled their success through the Three Doctors Foundation, a nonprofit organization that creates medical/health opportunities in inner-city communities. They also hope that their story will inspire others.
on June 12, 2003
As an African American women I know how hard being Black in this country is on a daily basis. I also know that our young males have an extremely tough time as they try to discover what manhood means in a world of hustlers and hard times. And this book so solidified to me what it is that politicians, administrators and teachers don't get - these kids are not inherently bad, stupid, lazy or dangerous. They are children, some of whom have parents with desires for their children but no understanding of how to guide them. They are children without mothers and/or fathers. They are children who had to raise themselves. They are children who had to decide at an early age how to survive long enough to make it home from school Who had to make decisions about who to be based on the gang colors of their neighborhood.
Why don't we have more doctors, lawyers, scientists, etc.? The answer lies on pages 177-78 where Dr. Davis talks about having never held a stethoscope until he was in medical school. Doctor visits were few and far between for him as a kid. How is a child supposed to identify his desire if all he is exposed to his what stands on the corner near his house. Why do many Black students fail to graduate? That answer is on page 217 when again Dr. Davis describes how after 4 years of pre-med and 4 more years in medical school no one had bothered to tell him about the National Resident Matching Program. How are you supposed to know is someone doesn't help you.
The most amazing thing about their stories is that even with all of the support from family members, teacher and counselors they all came dangerously close to still not making it through as the constant tugs from the street, their friends and family, society continuously made them hesitant and doubtful.
This should be required reading for everyone from school administrators to parents, politicians, students and the President. We have much work to do.
on January 9, 2003
"The Pact" is an incredible book! I just finished reading the remarkable journey completed by Drs. Sam Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt. It's an easy, quick read ~250 pages.
If you're not familiar with their story, they are 3 young, African-American men from Newark that establish a pact at 17-years old to become doctors. Over the years, they run into many obstacles (peer pressure, arrest, finances, and family issues) that tend to dissuade so many young people from pursuing their dream. With the "I got your back" support of each other, mentors they encountered throughout their journey, and God they become doctors despite how many people had presumed their future would turn out.
Dr. George Jenkins, probably the most focused in the group, knew at a very young age that he wanted to be a dentist. In high school, the three friends attend a college presentation offering full scholarships to minority students interested in the medical field. Knowing that neither he nor his friends could afford college THIS OFFER would be their ONLY way to attend college...the formation of the pact.
Surprisingly, after completing college and med school, Sam and Rameck were still unsure if they wanted to be doctors. Sam saw business/management as his future and Rameck wanted to be an actor (he'll settle on being a rapper). (If I didn't know the outcome, I would have been in suspense until the bitter end waiting to learn if they became doctors.) The death of an important person in each of their lives confirmed that medically helping others is what they were meant to do in life.
If you're in the education field or work closely with children in your community this is an excellent book to pick up when you...
- feel like what can I do to get through to this person
- need a testimony that success is not by luck but achieved through faith, perseverance, and support from others
- need a roadmap to better mentor a person in need
"The Pact" is an amazing story of inspiration and motivation to get (primarily) black teens to see beyond their environment, current situation, and look ahead with a plan for tomorrow. "The Pact" also displays the need for adults to begin mentoring children before they reach their teens. The book concludes with the doctors providing the "how-to's" to make a pact work.
on April 15, 2005
I along with about 30 other college students had to read this book for our "Juvenile Justice" class. What really made it interesting was how the book didn't focus on just the three as one individual but it instead looked at all three people and also each chapter took into play each individual.
It's not every day or even every year that you hear about three young people making a "positive" pact for their future and then no matter what happens sticking to it or trying to reach for it all together.
What an amazing group of men they have turned out to be, an inspiration for their families, friends and ultimately their community.
Only thing that could have made this better was actually hearing them or even having a chance to talk to them in person and thank them for not giving up, for reaching for their goals and inspiring countless others to make a difference in their own lives and communties.
on July 25, 2002
The Pact .................................... . Drs. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and
Rameck Hunt, with Lisa Frazier Page
In the last several years I've read numerous and various books on remedies for the black community, the black male and what should be done for a greater understanding. Under the same auspices there have been race related analogies instilling in us the need to be accountable for meaningful intent to change our lives, related works reminding us that the battle is not over as of yet, and what it would take for equal parity as the struggle continue to be heard and recognized. I recently read a book that brought tears to my eyes and allowed me to have hope and congratulate three young men who dared to make a change in realizing a dream come true. All my life I've been cautioned about the perils of peer pressure, and the folly of placing too much emphasis on misguided friendship. In isolated cases there may have been situations where caution has been tossed to the wind and worst fears have been realized because one probably wanted to live the stereotypical notions given by others not of the same culture.
But rarely do we witness male bonding used to an extent where three entities converge for the betterment of a greater whole. The Pact, told from hearts and minds of three boys out to succeed against a backdrop where others before them failed miserably, gives hope that our families and communities can reap what is sowed. George Jenkins, Sampson Davis, and Rameck Hunt has a story to tell, and what a story! All three grew up in an impoverished environment of broken dreams and unfulfilled promises. The old adage of there being strength in numbers prove to be an advantage as the three of them made a promise to each other: That they would stick together no matter what, go to college and become doctors. It wasn't until later that the notion to take it further came to fruition...and that is to empower the community with their own non-profit foundation. Now over 14 years later, after overcoming personal setbacks and other obstacles, they proudly bear the merit of having 'Doctor' in front of their names. This is the story of inspiration and vision where compassion has a chance to touch the inner city to dispel angst and glorify empowerment.
The book is narrated alternatively with each giving analogies to specific points of contention as they depict their lives leading up to the decisions made. It all started when Jenkins learned about a special medical program for minority students. After a trying time of convincing his two friends to comply, they vowed to do what it would take to help get the others through, but not before Davis and Hunt have had their various run ins with the law. The book is well written in an easy flow manner in which it intrduces each one's autobiographical beginnings culminating with specific advice and personal renderings on such topics as peer pressure, giving back, and perseverance. Ironically, all of the above are the main ingredients that give this offering the emphasis the authors need to illustrate the value of making goals, sticking to them, and paving the way for others. But a lot of credit must be given to Lisa Frazier Page for her part in keeping these young men focused and on the same page.
The format used and how they pulled it together, is a testimony to the finished product. I couldn't help but to look at it as a triad of principles commencing with finding self first, using the newfound lease on life to strengthen family, and ultimately bringing back to the community a model of perfection. This is a constant theme throughout, along with giving you the reason to believe in the power of friendship...a power greater than any one of them could have individually. Listen to the culminating point that is made in accessing their work: "Working together on this project, going over our years together we feel great pride. After writing this book, we see more clearly than ever that we needed one another to achieve our dreams. We've come a long way from the streets of Newark in some ways, but not far at all in others. Our hearts are still with the families and friends who didn't have the opportunities, the friendships, or maybe even the crazy dreams that were somehow given to us - those who are still struggling everyday just to survive. They are the reason we wrote this book"
This is a MUST read, a book expressive in showing that there's a way to rise above meager means as long as there's a purpose and the wherewithal to succeed. This is also the story about the potential in all of us to empower and provide those young black teenagers and young adults out there that there's a method to the madness if they position themselves to really want it. Fathers may want to buy this book for their sons, or mothers will read it as yet another way to reach a wayward son, but if you're of the mindset that whoever reads it for the good that it espouses then I'd expect you to pass it on!
If you want to get a book for that young directionless brother or sister out there, well this is the book to get. It is about three young brothers from the hoods of Newark who meet at a prestigious high school, and make a pact to go through college and medical school together. And they did it. Mind you, two thirds of the guys were not sure if medicine was the field for them initially, but with the incentives and convincing of the one person, they went through and finished med school in 1999. They also won the Essence Awards in 2000, and are doing well. I enjoyed and was empowered by these guys. When it looks like there is no hope, here comes someone to come and say that there is.
on August 28, 2004
This is a must read for all teenagers from the ghetto or from priviledge means. It not only tells a very compelling story of triumph and adversity, it shows how one can make through the power of love. These young men loved , trusted, and encouraged one another until the end! They are now successful doctors as a result of it. The story does not stop there! They are giving back today through their foundation called " The three doctors foundation" and I recently had the pleasure of meeting them and guess what? They are just as real in person as they appear in their book. Go to their website and check them out if you don't believe me. They have touched so many lives through their book and their countless endeavors in the community. Just because they care! I am so proud of them! This is how we will turn our community around.
on April 26, 2007
The Pact is about three young men who lived in the projects around drugs and peer pressure from old friends who did not want anything out of life. So George and Sam and Rameck made a pact to go to college. The young men had positive people in their lives, like a teacher, a friend's father, and a dentist. I would recommend this book to other people because the book tells how three young men made a pact with one another not to let peer presure rule their lives. They went to college and gave back to the neighborhood. They are all doctors and a dentist. They had some disappointments in their lives, but they made it. This is a true story.