Mentoring Student Paying It Forward


March 27, 2014

High school student Richard Bohmah has dreams of becoming a doctor, and now he's getting support from not one but two generations of mentors.

University of Virginia student Awaksi Asante mentors Richard through Collegiate 100, an off-shoot of 100 Black Men, the organization that put Awkasi in touch with his mentor, Dr. Marcus Martin.

"The opportunity to go back and give the same advice that I have received from mentors like Dr. Marcus Martin is a wonderful idea," Asante said.

Dr. Martin, a professor at UVa. and emergency medicine physician, met Asante during his first year at the university. Dr Martin has been mentoring Awaksi for the past three years, and they have even gone on a medical trip to St. Kitts.

Dr. Martin encourages both young men to compete for their goals, and help each other succeed.

"When you have learned something like these guys have learned, you need to teach it to someone else, because when you are teaching you learn more," Dr. Martin said.

Asante says learning from Dr. Martin has helped him lead the way for Richard and other young men. He wants to help the get on the right track and push past the achievement gap facing young black men.

"It's that can do attitude, that it can be done that they can make it. Richard is exemplary of that."

As for Richard, he plans to play it forward too one day.

“Whether it's a career in health care, criminal justice, or even in politics… Whatever it is they aspire to be, I would love to pay it forward and assist them in any way I can.”

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