National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine Keynote Speaker Justin B. Terry-Smith
A Video Blog
By Justin B. Terry-Smith
January 18, 2012
On December 5th, 2011, I was given the honor of being the Keynote Speaker for the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine. Before I was going to speak I was so nervous that they wouldn't like me or I would do really bad, but all in all I think I did OK. Keep in mind there were about 200 students and they are handpicked scholars from around the country. Some of the students were all the way from Hawaii and Puerto Rico. These young and impressionable men and women are the leaders that go to school and decide to earn a degree and practice in the medical profession. They were so receptive and amazing. I couldn't believe the questions and comments I received afterwards. I do have that video of the student asking questions but it needs to be edited to protect the students' identities because they are all underage.
I've been asked to speak at colleges, forums and other places but this was really an inspiration because these young people concentrate their studies and time on areas of medicine. They will be the professionals that will help the younger generation through illnesses and plagues like HIV.
I need to say thank you so much to all the staff and students that make this event possible; it's really important that we inspire these young people to go on to study medicine and help not only the future of America but the world.
All in all I think I was a little nervous but I think I held my own and the experience made me cry a little. Those young people's faces are instilled forever in my mind. They make me think that what I do is right and make me want to keep on inspiring. THANK YOU.
I have some great news to share as well but I will keep it a secret until it comes to light!
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Justin B. Terry-Smith may be one of the most public African Americans living with HIV: He has his own blog and Web site, and he's even on YouTube. And who can blame him? Only 30, he already has an incredible story to tell. Justin admits he used to live "a very dangerous life," but since his diagnosis three years ago, the former heavy drinker and drug user has turned his life around.
Photo credit: Don Harris
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