Everyone is dealt a hand in the game of life; it’s how you play that hand that determines if you’re going to be a winner or loser. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt wrote The Pact, Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream in 2002 in Newark New Jersey, a New York Times Bestseller about their journey from the hood to the medical field. George, Sam, and Rameck came from the hard streets of New Jersey neighborhoods where drugs, crime, and death were a way of life. There were no doctors or lawyers walking the streets as role models, just hustlers and gang members, it would have been easy to follow in their steps, but George had a dream of becoming a dentist and in the final year of high school persuaded his friends to enroll in college to become doctors. They knew they wouldn’t be able to do it alone so they made a Pact to do it together and to help each other no matter what. In order to emerge victorious in the college program for minority students interested in becoming doctors George Jenkins must undergo several significant thinking, emotional, and behavioral transformations.
George’s thinking transformation started early, as a little boy George had a messed up grill. At eleven years old his mom took him to University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark to get his teeth fixed to improve his smile. George shows his curiosity as a kid asking the dentist a lot of questions, “‘What’s that for,’ I ask pointing at the funny looking pliers he was holding” (5). The dentist took time to explain to George what the entire tools name were and what they did. “That is when I began thinking about becoming a dentist someday” (5). He couldn’t remember the man’s name, but never forgot what he gave him, a dream .Of course he admits he wanted the other kids to think he was cool, what kid wouldn’t, ‘But I decided then that I wasn’t going to do certain things ,like sell drugs, and I just stuck to my decision”(11). George’s point is that this illustrates his early thinking change, he responds to the dentist teaching him and he is excited to learn from this point on. Likewise George was about to enter some significant emotional decisions coming to his life.
Thinking differently is one thing but the emotional journey in one’s life can be hard, and for George this was true. “Sometimes people are drawn together for a purpose that even they don’t recognize at the time. I am convinced that this is what happened with Sam, Rameck, and me” (59). George’s point is that he has just experienced the early stages of an emotional awakening unknown to him and the others. Throughout school, Sam, Rameck, and George became friends and did everything together. In middle school, it was hard on them because they came from the projects and didn’t have much money at all. Some of their older friends were getting in trouble and didn’t go to school at all. By high school, most of the teachers couldn’t deal with the kids so they let them do whatever, and would just past them through the system: “I got mine. Now you got to get yours,” ‘exasperated teachers often told us’ (63). Then a recruiter told them about the E.O.P. program. The E.O.P. finances dozens of programs and provides money for tuition, housing, counseling, and tutoring. “The state added the Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental plus Program at Seaton Hall University under the EOP in 1980”. ‘I could hardly believe my ears. I thought to myself: Free College. Free tutoring. Help getting into dental school. This is it! This is the way to do what I’ve always wanted to do’ (71). In making this comment, George argues that he, Sam, and Rameck are making an emotional bond of trust that they are doing this together.
Now emotionally transformed, George’s notion is further demonstrated by a new behavioral change in the wind.
George is developing emotionally as a young man; similarly his behavior will also mature. “How you coming along with that application” (101) George would ask Sam and Rameck on a daily basis. He wants to do whatever it took for his homeboys to not lose their desire to keep this emotional bond they had made to each other. They are a pact of one together. “George’s dream had always been to open a dental clinic in Newark someday” (103). Carla Dickson, the student development specialist for the program helps the boys due everything they needed to do. George writes, “a few weeks later he went back home from school and found a letter to me from Seton Hall. I had been accepted to the program. I called my boys and them to have been accepted.” ‘For me, getting accepted into Seton Hall relieved the pressure of not knowing for sure what would happen next’ (104). George has always been a strong believer in positive friends, guys you can trust, guys that will be there for you no matter what. “You may even be surprised how much you can accomplish together. I certainly was” (110). The essence of George’s argument is that he won’t be alone to do the foot work; he has his boys for backup. This is an action step by George, or what I like to say a behavioral transformation. George and the boys know they have to walk the walk, and together they can do anything that they dream of.
To further illustrate Sam, Rameck, and George’s transformations, you only need to read this book The Pact as I have. They didn’t just talk the talk, they walked the walk. George Jenkins went through thinking changes, emotional transformations, and behavioral actions, not only to reject the myth that young, poor, black teens from the projects of Newark could not dream big, but to live and be the dentist and doctors they dreamed of being, “I like to think I brought foresight to our trio. I’ve always been able to think clearly and see through to the end of a situation before getting entangled in it. That saved our behinds a million times” (229). George’s point is that they needed him, just as much as he needed them; one for all and all for one. This emphasizes the meaning of “The Pact”. Once you stop making excuses for yourself your life will change. “Man, we really did this” (228). ‘I thought of all we had been through together, from boys comparing sneakers on the schoolyard in junior high to men walking across the stage to become doctors. We had leapt into the unknown together and locked hands and pulled one another up, over, and through the rough spots’ (228). George Jenkins lived his dream and on his quest he transformed himself mentally, emotionally, and behaviorally to evolve into that dentist he dream of as a little boy.