Joycelyn Elders

Dr. Joycelyn Elders, who became the first African American Surgeon General of the United States in 1994, had no plans to continue her education after high school but as valedictorian she received an automatic scholarship to Philander Smith College from the Women's Society of Christian Service, a forerunner of United Methodist Women.
Her seven younger brothers and sisters gleaned cotton on a Sunday afternoon to pay her bus fare to in Little Rock. She majored in biology with the goal of becoming a lab technician, and was inspired by meeting Dr. Edith Irby Jones who at the time was the first African American woman attending the University of Arkansas Medical School.
Learn more about Dr. Elders in this New York Times interview from January 1994…/…/30/magazine/joycelyn-elders.html…