WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- If you can't see it, you have a hard time achieving it. That's one of the problems that afflicts kids growing up in poor minority neighborhoods. If youth don't see doctors, lawyers, and other professionals that look like them, it can be hard for them to envision it for themselves. The absence of mentors willing to reveal their own "low lights" can also make dreams seem less obtainable to students that encounter uneven academic performance or other setbacks.
A physician and executive director of a national non-profit association, Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck uses his journey from welfare, low expectations, and institutionalized racism to acclaim as a nationally recognized health expert to motivate young people. "I don't recall hearing a professor or mentor share his or her low lights with me on their road to success," said Dr. Hasbrouck. "Believing that there is no room for mistakes or failures can make a lofty goal seem almost unobtainable. So I use my setbacks as a blueprint for resilience," he continued. Dr. Hasbrouck has embarked on a multi-city tour during his spare time to inspire, challenge, and encourage youth to reach for their personal dreams despite their tough circumstances. In fact, he emboldens them to embrace their hardships so that they can someday be a source of inspiration for others. In his recently published memoir titled "G Street Lion: Stalking a Dream" (iUniverse, May 27, 2016) he describes how he overcame obstacles, naysayers, and self-doubts to survive the rigors of a top university, walk-on to a major college football team, eventually becoming captain, and jump through countless hoops to gain entrance into medical school. His motto: "you cannot have a testimony without a test." Dr. Hasbrouck has begun to share his testimony with students on college campuses, including HBCUs, at high schools, and at youth development and mentoring programs. He recently spoke at Harvard University, American University in Washington, DC, and Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. Reciting colorful stories of his past low lights and strategies to rebound, he delivers a simple message: your personal story is your personal power. "Success requires only optimism and a stubborn belief in oneself," he writes in his memoir. "I remind young people that as long as they stay hungry and humble, success is possible," he says. To bare all with absolute honesty is never easy for anyone, let alone a public figure who has reached the top of his field. But Dr. Hasbrouck sees it as a part of his legacy to give back. Whether through his book or during one of his live sharing sessions, he captures the attention and ignites the imagination of young dreamers with his simple epiphany that helped him confront his worst fears, pursue his biggest dreams, and realize a future far brighter than he could have planned.