Dr. Benjamin Carson, the famous neurosurgeon from John
University, Baltimore, Maryland, attributes his mother,
for the reason for his success in life. "I not only saw
and felt the
difference my mother made in my life, I am still living
difference as a man."
Sonya Carson, mother of Ben, put her total self into making
sons did their best in school. Oftentimes, she worked
long hours and
two to three jobs to keep the Carson family afloat. Her
dependence on the Lord provided her with the wisdom to
boys to graduate from high school, college, and become
men. She did this while living as a single mom in the
inner cities of
Boston and Detroit.
Sonya Carson's life motto is: "Learn to do your best and
God will do
the rest." She put this motto in practice for herself
to motivate her
while raising her sons. And, she used her philosophy of
motivate her children to succeed in life.
A woman with only a third grade education, and who was
various foster homes, Carson needed to learn how to work
survive in a life that was surrounded by poverty, despair,
motherhood. Sonya Carson married at 13 years old to Robert
who was 15 years older than she. He rescued her from her
home life of
poverty and abuse. Robert Carson was attentive to Sonya,
like his "little china doll," until they had children.
became secretive and neglectful--- not often coming home,
whispered conversations on the telephone. When Ben was
old and his brother, Curtis, was 10 years old, Sonya left
and Detroit. She and her sons moved to Boston to live
with her sister
and brother-in-law, William and Jean Avery.
Her life motto served her well while raising her two sons,
anxiety and depression, and trying to make ends meet.
chose God because "I don't have any friends. I don't have
to turn to. God, you're going to have to be my friend,
my best friend.
And, you're going to have to tell me how to do things
and give me
wisdom, because I don't know what to do." (p. 45)
This relationship with God gave her the wisdom to put
around Curtis and Ben. After Ben brought home an unsatisfactory
report card in fifth grade, she made house rules to enable
the boys to
become better students. She restricted their television
viewing to two
programs per week. They were required to visit the library
and to pick two books to read. Then, Curtis and Ben needed
to write a
book report for each book that was read. Afterward, the
required to hand in their book reports to their mother.
on the book reports, library visits, and restricted television
because "... they were not living up to their potential."
Her perseverance in their education paid off. Ben Carson's
began to improve during the second half of fifth grade.
He went on to
succeed in school. He graduated from high school and later
University. In 1987, Dr. Benjamin Carson became a world-renowned
neurosurgeon, leading a team to remove two Siamese twins
joined at the back of the head. At that time, the removal
of the twins
was a groundbreaking surgery that was successful. Since
then, he has
co-authored three books about his life called Gifted Hands;
Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence; and The Big
In conclusion, Sonya Carson overcame hardship, poverty,
motherhood, and depression to work hard to raise two sons
in the inner
city. In turn, these boys grew up to be successful men,
as she believed
they would be, because she lived out her motto, "Learn
to do your
best. God will do the rest."
Sources: Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story by Dr. Ben
Cecil Murphy; Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for
by Dr. Ben Carson and Cecil Murphy; and The Big Picture:
Perspective on What's Really Important in Life by Dr.
with Gregg Lewis.
Wendy Komancheck is a professional tutor and writer. Komancheck
has experience tutoring all grade levels in a variety
including teaching grammar and writing courses to homeschooled
school students. She writes for local, regional, and consumer
magazines and newspapers. She lives in Ephrata with her
sons, and a Basset Hound. Check out her blog at: