Zig Ziglar Servant Leadership Award Recipient, 2019
Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr.
Prestonwood Christian Academy is pleased to honor Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr. as the 2019 recipient of the Zig Ziglar Servant Leadership Award. Dr. Carson has persevered throughout his life and has shown the true heart of a servant leader throughout his career.
Dr. Carson is a renowned former neurosurgeon who rose from the depths of the inner city in Detroit, Mich., to working at one of the most esteemed hospitals in the country, serving as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland for nearly three decades.
He is a philanthropist, popular motivational speaker, and a prolific, best-selling author, who has written more than a dozen books ranging from his autobiography to motivational books to books on his political values.
Dr. Carson has garnered countless awards, including two very prestigious honors. In 2001, he was named a Library of Congress Living Legend. In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award given to civilians in America.
Dr. Carson was among 17 candidates in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary. Dr. Carson currently serves as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Dr. Carson’s story is well known. He shared his story beautifully in his best-selling book, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, published in 1989. The tagline in the book succinctly states the essence of his life: “The remarkable surgeon who gives children a second chance at life.” The inspiring biography was adapted for television in 2009—a movie by the same name starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Ben Carson was raised by a single mom in dire poverty in Detroit. Although he dreamed of becoming a doctor, he was not a good student academically; he has often spoken of his bad temper and low self-esteem. His mother, who only progressed as far as the third-grade, often worked three jobs to raise her two sons. She wanted a better life for them, and she challenged them to strive for excellence in all things.
He graduated high school and continued his studies at Yale University, where he would meet his future wife, Candy, a classical violinist. He went on to Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan, and then served as a neurosurgery resident at Johns Hopkins. In 1984, he was appointed Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the hospital at the age of 33.
In 1987, Dr. Carson became the first neurosurgeon to successfully separate twins joined at the back of the head, and he was the first surgeon to successfully place an intrauterine shunt in a hydrocephalic twin.
He has said that his greatest medical memory was every time he concluded a surgery and was able to “tell a family that the operation went well and their loved one is doing well.”
The Carsons cofounded the Carson Scholars Fund, a nonprofit organization awarding scholarships to students throughout the country who embrace high academic achievement and community service. More than 8,000 scholarships have been awarded since 1996, and recipients have attended more than 700 colleges, garnering more than $6.3 million in scholarships.
The Carsons have been married for 43 years and have three sons and two grandchildren.