June 25, 2006

Vanessa Gamble, Director of the Tuskegee Bioethics Program
In the West Philly Spotlight

Vanessa Gamble, director of the Tuskegee bieothics program essentially endowed as part of President Clinton's apology for the Tuskegee Experiment, is 'still a girl from West Philadelphia and I will never let anyone forget it,' Gamble told the 54 graduates of Hamilton's Academics in Middle School program yesterday." Philadelphia Daily News follows her as she talks about her roots, her goals and her life:
She said was only 6 years old when she decided to become a doctor. To this day, she said, she doesn't know how she got the idea. But her mother and grandmother, who raised her after her parents separated, believed in her. She got chemistry sets and microscopes for toys. She talked of how her grandmother once got upset with a neighbor who didn't believe that the young Gamble would become a doctor someday. "She said, 'Right.' And my grandmother said, 'Just wait.' "

Gamble told the graduates, many of them superachievers themselves, never to allow other people to keep them from their goals. "Don't let anyone say you can't do something," she said. "Life won't be easy, but you have the skills to make it." Gamble, 53, earned both her medical degree and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

She surprised the audience by announcing that she planned to present an annual award "to a member of the Hamilton graduation class who has achieved greatly in the face of adversity."

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