Two days each week, members of the UNC School of Medicine’s Minority Men in Medicine group spend their afternoons with fifth-graders at Durham’s Eno Valley Elementary School. The group’s leaders, first-year medical students, Roman Blount, IV, and Andrew Alexander, say the students aren’t there to talk about science or layout plans for high school courses and college majors. For now, Blount, Alexander, and the other members of the Minority Men in Medicine are just there to talk, play chess, shoot hoops, and, most importantly, set an example.
“We aren’t there to preach to them,” Blount said. “We try to get on their level, understand a little bit about who they are and then, as time progresses, reach them more deeply than we would have been able to otherwise.”
The students they work with are part of the Eno Valley Elementary School’s Men of Honor Program, an afterschool program that provides enrichment and mentorship for students who have been selected by the program’s leader, Eno Valley teacher Nashonda Cooke.