The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream

The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream

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The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt, Lisa Frazier Page


A remarkable story about the power of friendship.

Chosen by Essence to be among the forty most influential African Americans, the three doctors grew up in the streets of Newark, facing city life’s temptations, pitfalls, even jail. But one day these three young men made a pact. They promised each other they would all become doctors, and stick it out together through the long, difficult journey to attaining that dream. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt are not only friends to this day—they are all doctors.

This is a story about joining forces and beating the odds. A story about changing your life, and the lives of those you love most... together.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101218518
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/06/2003
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 210,838
File size: 499 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

Lisa Frazier Page is a national award-winning writer for The Washington Post.

Read an Excerpt


WE TREAT THEM in our hospitals every day.

They are young brothers, often drug dealers, gang members, or small-time criminals, who show up shot, stabbed, or beaten after a hustle gone bad. To some of our medical colleagues, they are just nameless thugs, perpetuating crime and death in neighborhoods that have seen far too much of those things. But when we look into their faces, we see ourselves as teenagers, we see our friends, we see what we easily could have become as young adults. And we're reminded of the thin line that separates us-three twenty-nine-year-old doctors (an emergency-room physician, an internist, and a dentist)-from these patients whose lives are filled with danger and desperation.

We grew up in poor, broken homes in New Jersey neighborhoods riddled with crime, drugs, and death, and came of age in the 1980s at the height of a crack epidemic that ravaged communities like ours throughout the nation. There were no doctors or lawyers walking the streets of our communities. Where we lived, hustlers reigned, and it was easy to follow their example. Two of us landed in juvenile-detention centers before our eighteenth birthdays. But inspired early by caring and imaginative role models, one of us in childhood latched on to a dream of becoming a dentist, steered clear of trouble, and in his senior year of high school persuaded his two best friends to apply to a college program for minority students interested in becoming doctors. We knew we'd never survive if we went after it alone. And so we made a pact: we'd help one another through, no matter what.

In college, the three of us stuck together to survive and thrive in a world that was different from anything we had ever known. We provided one another with a kind of positive peer pressure. From the moment we made our pact, the competition was on. When one of us finished his college application, the other two rushed to send theirs out. When we participated in a six-week remedial program at Seton Hall University the summer before our freshman year, each of us felt pressured to perform well because we knew our friends would excel and we didn't want to embarrass ourselves or lag behind. When one of us made an A on a test, the others strived to make A's, too.

We studied together. We worked summer jobs together. We partied together. And we learned to solve our problems together. We are doctors today because of the positive influences that we had on one another.

The lives of most impressionable young people are defined by their friends, whether they are black, white, Hispanic, or Asian; whether they are rich, poor, or middle-class; whether they live in the city, the suburbs, or the country. Among boys, particularly, there seems to be some macho code that says to gain respect, you have to prove that you're bad. We know firsthand that the wrong friends can lead you to trouble. But even more, they can tear down hopes, dreams, and possibilities. We know, too, that the right friends inspire you, pull you through, rise with you.

Each of us experienced friendships that could have destroyed our lives. We suspect that many of the young brothers we treat every day in our hospitals are entangled in such friendships-friendships that require them to prove their toughness and manhood daily, even at the risk of losing their own lives. The three of us were blessed. We found in one another a friendship that works in a powerful way; a friendship that helped three vulnerable boys grow into successful men; a friendship that ultimately helped save our lives.

But it wasn't always easy. There were times when one of us was ready to give up, and times when we made bad decisions. Some of that is ugly and difficult to admit, and we suffered pain and other consequences. But we have laid it all out here nonetheless.

We did this because we hope that our story will inspire others, so that even those young people who feel trapped by their circumstances, or pulled by peer pressure in the wrong directions, might look for a way out not through drugs, alcohol, crime, or dares but through the power of friendship. And within our story are many others, of mentors, friends, relatives, and even strangers we met along the way, whose goodwill and good deeds made a difference in our lives. We hope our story will also demonstrate that anyone with enough compassion has the power to transform and redirect someone else's troubled life.

If we have succeeded at all in helping to turn even a single life around or in opening a window of hope, then this book was well worth our effort.

Table of Contents


1. Dreaming Big
2. Home
3. Ma
4. Common Ground
5. Caged
6. A Big Break
7. Hope

George on Peer Pressure

8. Summer Odyssey
9. Earth Angel
10. A Different World

Rameck on Giving Back

11. Rap
12. Lovesick
13. Access Med
14. Old Ties
15. D.W.B.
16. Becoming Doctors

Sam on Perseverance

17. Graduation
18. Goodbye
19. Home Again



What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This is truly a life-changing book, one that shows that anything is possible...with a little help from our friends."—James McBride, author of The Color of Water and Miracle at St. Anna

"A powerful message of hope."—Dallas Morning News

"Gripping, courageous, and inspiring."—Philadelphia Inquirer

"After you've read it, pass it on...The Pact is a book that should never end up on a shelf because it is probably the most important book for African-American families that has been written since the protest era...Besides their personal stories, the doctors share practical steps that can be useful to a circle of friends in making their own pact...Get The Pact. It just may change a teen's future."—Chicago Sun-Times

"They are an inspiration to young people everywhere, and their message is one that can transform the world."—Billy Cosby


Great book! — Frank Rich, NY Times

Bill Cosby

They are an inspiration to young people everywhere, and their message is one that can transform the world.

Customer Reviews

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The Pact 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
JBJohnson More than 1 year ago
The world should never grow tired of reading about the triumphant tales of "real life" heroes. In the modern tradition of celebrating mediocrity and outlandish foolery, it is refreshing to learn of extraordinary quests for success in which an education is prized for the gem it is. An exceptional read with a universal message that transcends time and circumstance. My children are required to read this text at least once per year to remind them that the only limits that exist are those that we create for ourselves. Well done, brothers. Well done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in school and i am only 13 it vis the best book ever even if it had onbor two bad worbs i loved this book . I love reading about there life which was nothing and made something of it . Really i hate to read andbi love this book really
amystery726 More than 1 year ago
This book is a lesson in how one can come from adverse conditions and not only survive, but thrive. The three young men who made "a pact" to make something of themselves did not have a smooth road nor was the trajectory straight, but they made it. Their story is motivational, inspirational, and meaningful. It should be on every high school reading list as it will resonate with children who come from similar backgrounds as those of the authors as well as teach life lessons to those who come from a spectrum of backgrounds.
Kia Gray More than 1 year ago
This book is very intriguing and exciting to read. This piece inspires all generations whether low or middle class, that success is reachable despite any obstacles!!!!
Honu More than 1 year ago
Should be required reading for every parent and HS freshman!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never lived in the projects, my struggles weren't as tough as theirs but I respect them for their courage and success!!! I couldn't relate to everything but that is of little matter. What I understood is that one does not have to be victimized by their circumtances. One creates his or her own place in the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome. This is the best book I ever read in my life and I have read many books. It made me laugh, cry, and think really hard about my life and the lives of my two children. I loved it, if I could afford to give this book to every young boy/man I see I would. I think the book is just that inspirational and motivating. If people would stick together, help each other, and not envy one another the world would be so much better. Keep up the good work Docs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I actually bought this book for my 15yr old daughter, but once I started reading it, I COULD NOT put it down, It's amazing how I could just see it all as I was reading. We must all learn how to weed out the good from the bad,and yes with family too. God was definatley with these young men throughout all their trials. This book is definatley an inspiration.
annabananalm More than 1 year ago
The Pact tells the story of three men who desired more than what the atmosphere they grew up in provided. These men didn’t want to have lengthy criminal records by the time they reached 30. Together these men formed a pact to ensure that they would be each other’s backbone, and help each other through life’s obstacles, and become doctors. This story is highly motivational, because of all the challenges these men went through to be the great doctors they are today can be observed by kids who need to be motivated to be the best they can. Students like myself can take notes from these men, and put their best foot forward to achieve greatness in their own right. This book also could be categorized as inspirational as well. This book is inspirational, because this book could inspire even the worst of the worst children to clean up their act, and go on a path of success. This book could be better though if it excluded the explicit language the book uses. The reader understood what the authors intended to say without the use of these words. Using these proved distracting for me, because I was caught off guard, and could not focus on the next few sentences.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is great, it gives young kids of all ethnic backgrounds the strength to push themselves to the next level no matter what their home circumstances may be. My hat goes off to these fine young men. They are role models in more than one way. I think this book should be a source of reading material for all children in middle and high school, because these are the years when most teens are beginning to think about their futures. This book will help built confidence.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sad and cool and ok
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very heartfelt story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its good! But it could be better !!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Taco bell
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book! I read this book for a class and everyday we have discussions on the book. This book is very inspiring, and their lives were nothing and then became something. Amazing book and an easy short read.   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its called Flameclan
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The fact that I don't even like reading:: after I have read the first couple pages of the book... I was so anxious to read more... love this book would totally recommended to everyone of all ages !! :)
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This book is very entertaing to red i enjoyed this book i just dont think the book shoulde started with their live as kids it shouldve started at the main point the part about their colleg lives NOT heir childhood