We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success

( 44 )

Overview

Sampson, George, and Rameck could easily have followed their childhood friends into drug dealing, gangs, and prison. They came from the tough neighborhoods of Newark, New Jersey, where survival, not schoolwork, was the priority. When the three boys met in high school, they recognized in each other the desire and ability to "beat the street." They made a friendship pact, deciding together to take on the biggest challenges of their lives: going to college, then medical school. Along the way they made mistakes, ...
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We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success

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Overview

Sampson, George, and Rameck could easily have followed their childhood friends into drug dealing, gangs, and prison. They came from the tough neighborhoods of Newark, New Jersey, where survival, not schoolwork, was the priority. When the three boys met in high school, they recognized in each other the desire and ability to "beat the street." They made a friendship pact, deciding together to take on the biggest challenges of their lives: going to college, then medical school. Along the way they made mistakes, faced disappointments, and nearly failed, but by working hard, finding positive role models, resisting negative influences, and supporting each other at every turn, they achieved their goals-and more. Today Drs. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt-who call themselves the Three Doctors-work in the same community where they grew up, helping the people in their neighborhoods. Sampson and Rameck are doctors, and George is a dentist.

In We Beat the Street, revealing anecdotes from the Three Doctors' childhood, teenage, and young-adult years are brought vividly to life by award-winning author Sharon M. Draper. Honest personal remarks from the doctors at the end of each chapter provide context and advice. It is their hope that the compelling story of their extraordinary friendship will inspire readers to form pacts of their own and reach for the stars.

Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and graduated from Seton Hall University. Davis and Hunt received their medical degrees from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Jenkins his dentistry degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. In addition to working in their respective medical practices in Newark, they run The Three Doctors Foundation, creating opportunities for inner-city communities through education, mentoring, and health awareness. Their adult book, The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream, reached the top of the bestseller lists and led to honors from Essence, Oprah Winfrey, and many others. Speaking to parents and teachers throughout the country, these charismatic men received numerous requests for a book that would make their story accessible to children at risk of falling victim to "the street," which led to the writing of We Beat the Street.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The authors of the adult bestseller The Pact here redirect their story for a younger audience. The three young doctors from Newark, N.J., reflect upon the seminal moments, people and relationships from early childhood to graduation that led them to choose medicine over the street (even though the boys "[didn't] even know anybody who went to college"). Each chapter begins with a childhood incident, followed by the doctor's narrative about what that event meant to his future. The authors honestly portray both their successes and failures, including flirting with crime. In one, Rameck Hunt, then in 11th grade, and some old friends (whom his mother called "thugs") beat a homeless man for smoking on school property, until he was critically injured; after Rameck's release from a weekend in a detention center, he resolves to focus on his future. George Jenkins's memory of his first trip to the dentist seeds the early passion that would grow into his own vocation in dentistry. The doctors show how their pact to stick together and support each other through college and medical school helped them achieve their goals. Throughout, the three stay true to themselves, such as when, in a summer pre-med program at Seton Hall, Sampson Davis defends wearing baggy jeans and sweats in a hospital: "If I live in the hood, and I work in the hood, then my patients will think I'm dressed appropriately, don't you think?" Readers searching for role models should find much to cheer and emulate here. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From The Critics
Sampson, George, and Rameck were three boys growing up in tough New Jersey neighborhoods. Drugs, robbery, and murder were normal. But a handful of positive influences guided them away from destruction toward each other. They made a pact to go to college. Their friendship and dedication to the pact led all three to graduate from college and medical school. Today they practice medicine and dentistry in the communities where they grew up. I could not put this book down. Each chapter shares an anecdote and personal remarks from one of "The Three Doctors." These are their stories from age six to adulthood. Speaking honestly of their discouragement, failures, and successes, they offer encouragement to kids who find themselves in hopeless situations. This book should be carefully shared with upper elementary and is a must-read for middle and high school. 2005, Dutton's Children's Books, 183 pp., Ages young adult.
—Vicki Sherbert
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-The Three Doctors, as the subjects of this inspirational book call both themselves and their nonprofit foundation, grew up in a tough neighborhood in Newark, NJ. Draper tells an epiphanic story featuring each of the young men by turn, followed by his comments on how a single event affected him across time. Davis, for instance, remembers the hospital where he later became an emergency-medicine physician as the same one where his foot was treated after an incident when he was six. Hunt recalls first meeting Sampson and Jenkins in ninth grade. Jenkins tells of the friends' success at moving from high school to college. Draper adds dialogue and evokes the pivotal moment in each vignette as though it were a scene in one of her realistic novels. The book takes the young men through college and medical school and into their careers. While Jenkins seems relatively calm and serious from the beginning, Hunt found himself in trouble right into medical school. Davis had trouble getting an emergency-medicine internship-and then found himself back in his Newark neighborhood, right where he knew he'd be serving his hometown. The writing here, whether Draper's or the doctors', is simple and accessible and there is plenty of action for reluctant readers. More advanced readers may want to read The Pact (Riverside, 2002), the Three Doctors' joint autobiography for adults.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142406274
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/4/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 33,034
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.47 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

George Jenkins, Sampson Davis, and Rameck Hunt grew up together in Newark and graduated from Seton Hall University. Davis and Hunt received their medical degrees from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Jenkins received his dentistry degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry. The three doctors are the recipients of the Essence Lifetime Achievement Award. All three continue to live in Newark.
George Jenkins, Sampson Davis, and Rameck Hunt grew up together in Newark and graduated from Seton Hall University. Davis and Hunt received their medical degrees from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Jenkins received his dentistry degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry. The three doctors are the recipients of the Essence Lifetime Achievement Award. All three continue to live in Newark.
George Jenkins, Sampson Davis, and Rameck Hunt grew up together in Newark and graduated from Seton Hall University. Davis and Hunt received their medical degrees from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Jenkins received his dentistry degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry. The three doctors are the recipients of the Essence Lifetime Achievement Award. All three continue to live in Newark.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Chapter 1 "You Don't Have to Cut My Foot off, Do You?" Hanging Tough: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 3
Chapter 2 "Oh, Man, You're in Trouble Again!" School Problems: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 13
Chapter 3 "Isn't that School in the Ghetto?" Influential Teachers: A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins 21
Chapter 4 "We're Gonna Jack Us some Icees from Jack's!" Temptation and Its Consequences: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 28
Chapter 5 "How Much do You Need?" Dreams and Missed Opportunities: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 36
Chapter 6 "Are You Godzilla or King Kong?" The Beginnings of a Dream: A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins 44
Chapter 7 "Yeah, Man. They Say the Driver's Dead." Living and Dying on the Streets: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 50
Chapter 8 "I don't Even Know Anybody Who Went to College." Entering Seventh Grade: A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins Making Good Grades: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 60
Chapter 9 "You Kids are Gonna Get Yourself Killed." The Call of the Streets: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 66
Chapter 10 "What's up with That? You Think You Better than Us?" So Easy to Fall into the Drug Scene: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 73
Chapter 11 "A Sticky Web of Bright Pink Silly String Across the Astonished Teacher's Face" Foolishness and Understanding: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 82
Chapter 12 "I Think We Could All do this-the Three of Us-Together!" The Beginning of the Pact: A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins 90
Chapter 13 "If He Dies, You Get Charged with Attempted Murder." Thanksgiving in Jail: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 100
Chapter 14 "How do You Plead?" The Judge Asked, "Guilty, Your Honor." Never Again: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 109
Chapter 15 "Not only Had Their Sons Survived, But They were Heading to College." Strengthening the Pact: A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins 121
Chapter 16 "It Feels Good, Man. It's Like Doing Push-Ups with My Brain!" The Possibility of Success: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 128
Chapter 17 "The Boy's Neck Bent in an Odd Way, and Hi Body Fell Limp." The End of Violence and the Start of Giving Back: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 137
Chapter 18 "Yo, Yo, Yo! Check It Out! Check It Out!" Rap Stars? A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins 146
Chapter 19 "For the First Time Since High School, the Three of Us won't be Together." Hanging in there: A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins 153
Chapter 20 "Driving while Black" The Possibility of Losing the Dream: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 161
Chapter 21 "Sometimes You Gotta Fail in Order to Succeed." Going Back to Where It All Began: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 167
Chapter 22 "To Friends" 177
Conclusion 180
Shout-Outs! 185
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    Awesome

    I love this book ! GREAT READ FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS! Very inspiring !

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Wow What a Story! My 11-yr-old Couldn't Put It Down!

    I found this book looking for something interesting/appropriate for my 11 yr-old (6th grade) boy for a school assignment to read a biography and do a presentation on the person. He ended up doing it on all three doctors.

    I read the book before I gave it to him, and was inspired. I especially liked the format - stories and then comments by the now-grown-doctors about the incidents they were relating. From the moment he picked up the book, my son was interested. He read it in about 2 days (not his usual pattern, especially for a school project).

    Not only was the story interesting and inspiring, it challenges the reader to think of his or her own character and his or her own choices. Some of the more difficult part for me was trying to give my son -- a middle-class white suburban kid -- a sense of what the intercity is like and how enticing the world of gangs, guns, and drugs can look to kids who can't see and weren't told about any other options.

    I know the story of The Three Doctors has been widely shared in the black, especially intercity, community, but this is a story for EVERY KID of every color, class or creed.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    A life changing story

    This is a book for all of you caught up with the streets

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2010

    the story was great i recommand for children ages 10-15 to read this book.they will gain alot of expericence from it.

    We Beat the Street is about three friends growing up the ghetto who want to become doctors. They go to the same school and they share the same interests. They get in trouble a lot but that does not stop them. Sampson for instance is arrested for having stolen property, Rameek throws a student ot the ground and gives him a concussion, and George is well, err generally good. my classmates and i enjoyed reading this book.AUGUSTINE S 10

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2010

    we beat the streets

    We beat the streets was one of my favorite books. Like i really loved it because they kept it real in the book. They talked about how life was growning up on the streets, they even talked about how even if u are on the streets you can still become succesful if u work hard!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013

    Wonderful

    Im reading this in my class and its very good

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    It was good because it was suspensful and a nice story and I lik

    It was good because it was suspensful and a nice story and I like the guys

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2012

    Great!

    Im reading this book in school and so far, i LOVE IT!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    Great Story

    Great story wonderful book very inspirational

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Anonymous

    Realy good book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    We beat the Street

    I like the book because it is a life lesson.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Great book

    This was a really great book to read. I reccomend it to anyone that is looking for an exccelent read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2011

    This book was Great!

    This book is a very inspiring story about 3 kids who were nobodies and became something. It made beleive if you put the effort into something you will achevie. I reccomend this book to everybody!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    The Best Book ever

    This book is about three boys who grew up in a very poor neighborhood. They all find each other in high school and form a friendship pact. They all move on to become doctors. My favorite character was all the boys because they were always determined to follow their dream. I liked this book because it showed me that you can do anything you want to do with hard work. You should read this book because it teaches young rweaders to folow their dreams wwith lots of hard work and support.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2010

    What I think of this book is that this book was interesting... From the part when Sampson hurt his foot in the beginnig to where they graduated and became doctors at the end... you should get this book

    What I recommened to people is to really get to understand this book and to make sure that people have a good time reading this book as my classmates and I have done. When you get to understand this book you will start to have a fun time reading this book. It starts pretty good with some sequences going on and when u get a little more in to it, then you will start to really enjoy this book. Get out and buy this book. Have Fun

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Inspiring!!!

    I am Daniesha Carr a student from Hewitt Trussville High School. This book was very inspiring to me. It showed how no matter what your circumstances are, you can achieve all of your dreams, goals, or desires if you try you hardest and give it your all. It also gives the stories of their circumstances in a poverty stricken community surrounded with violence and drugs. It also gives a plethora of examples and cases when all of their dreams, and hard work put toward those dreams could have been ruined. These young men could have fallen into the statistics of their community, but they made a pact and did their best, although slipping a few times, to withstand temptations and to pursue their main goal no matter what anyone said or did.

    Overall I enjoyed this novel. It was very intriguing. Even though I can not relate to the struggles of the three young men, the book is written in a context where it is not hard to connect and understand the characters story. One thing I that made me a little iffy about the novel is that all the criminal acts the boys committed, they always seemed to either get a lighter sentence, or get no punishments at all. Someone or thing was truly on their side.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2009

    This book is really great and it will catch the readers attention.

    I love this book because there are several things you can learn from it. It is a true story that will help motivate readers into following their dreams and believe that it will come true if you just work on it. It is written by the three friends, doctors Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt. They wrote something from their experience in each chapter on what made up their minds to want to become doctors. They didn¿t think they could do it because first of all they were black and they also lack money. They lived in a place where selling drugs is the only way to earn money. They also had to learn that staying in the streets could either kill or sent them to jail for the rest of their life the hard way. Everyday they had to struggle against peer pressure, gang violence, and rampant drug use. Then one day while trying to skip class to shoot hoops the boys found themselves listening to a special presentation about the Seton Hall University Pre-Medical/ Pre-Dental Plus program. For the first time ever, the three friends believed that they might really have an opportunity to make their dreams come true. They made a pack to stay together if they get accepted for the scholarship. For those who love true stories and are eager to learn new things like I do, I recommend you read this book. I think this is a book for teenagers to help them decide what they are going to do with their life and how to do it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2008

    Yay Inspiration, boo childish literature

    'We beat the street' is an inspirational book about three young men and the challenges of growing up in a rough neighborhood, something, in a way, we can all relate to. With all the negative influences around them it would be hard to imagine life other than drugs, guns, and gangs, but Rameck, Sampson, and George beat the odds and beat the street. Though i recommend this book to everyone it may not be commended by those who want a more literture type work. This book contains a more simiplified verison of their life and doesnt not appeal to those who yearn for advanced language and rhetoric strategies. Dont get me wrong, its a good book that influences young people like me, but i was reading this for an English class and compared to others my book seemed a little premature.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    We

    Good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2011

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!! Highly Recommended - you must check it out!! Highly Recommended - you must check it out!! Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    It is an excellent book for the students to read about and learn from it, specially for the youth people who are struggling to reach their goal,reading this book will change your life and you will learn anything is possible in life if you put your mind to it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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