Roderick E. Jefferson

Hometown – Columbia, MS
Undergrad – University of Michigan, BA, Psychology and French
Current – MPH candidate, Boston University School of Public Health, MPH candidate

Even as a child, Roderick always seemed more interested in reading a book or watching some educational program on television rather than partaking in activities becoming of a child, such as tree-climbing and general mischief. It was then that he realized his profound affection for science and his strong desire to help others. It was then that he realized that he wanted to become a physician.

Most children’s aspirations change as they mature; Roderick’s stood unwavering. He therefore modeled himself accordingly and did all he could to ensure that this aspiration was substantially more than a dream. He developed more than an affection (now an aptitude) for science, constantly receiving higher grades than his peers on science assignments. His yearning to help others intensified; even now, seeing anyone in any form of pain or discomfort draws his attention and longing to help. Roderick possessed this mentality even as he entered high school, causing him to become extremely involved in numerous aspects of student life.

His intention was to provide some help for all students, whether directly or indirectly, by involving himself in school activities that allowed him to come in contact with a wide array of people and personalities. He is now the president of his school’s student body, Beta Club president, and National Honor Society vice-president, succeeding in helping others in all of these capacities. He has volunteered his time on many occasions, whether supervising blood drives or helping area residents clean up their homes and lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Yet his crowning achievement came in the form of an original community awareness project. He, with the help of two friends, created a community awareness campaign, alerting all residents of the overall dilapidation of his hometown and what could be done to combat such blight. Appropriately titled “I Love Columbia,” the campaign succeeded in gathering substantial citizen support for his project and captured the attention of several community-betterment organizations, after which he was made an honorary member of the Marion County Developmental Partnership.

Roderick may have accomplished a lot in a small amount of time, but his efforts have not ceased. He will continue to help others unselfishly, for such togetherness is what the world needs.