Encouraging the youth to succeed in anything they put their minds to, is important to Dr. J. Steven Blake, who specializes in osteopathic medicine and serves as chair and CEO of Blake Gastroenterology Associates, LLC in Mount Airy. He has had many successes in his career and now believes it is time to give back.
Blake has pledged a donation for a full four-year scholarship fund to an African-American individual going to medical school. His gift will allow the prospective medical school student to fulfill their dreams of becoming a doctor.
“I’ve always had a dream of doing something along these lines,” Blake said.
The scholarship is for an individual in undergraduate school and is based on their academic standing and need.
As an alumnus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), he is honored to provide this scholarship at this school. This is the first full scholarship offered in PCOM’s history.
Prior to this scholarship, Dr. Blake has shown dedication to reaching out to youth. In 2006, he created the “East Coast Cultural Enrichment Tour,” which brings honor students from his alma mater, Coahama Agricultural High School in Mississippi, to the East Coast for two weeks.
The tour includes an all-expense-paid trip — sponsored by Blake — to visit Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Blake accompanies the chaperones and students on this trip to meet various professionals in the different cities and to experience Broadway shows.
“The purpose of it is to help these young people realize there’s other means for success in life,” he said.
The first year he established the tour — girls dominated it. When the first group shared their experiences with the rest of the school, the participation grew and more males became involved. In addition to the tour, Blake also provides scholarships to students at the school.
“I achieved the end I was looking for — to help create dreams and inspire,” he said.
Blake believes it is important to encourage young African Americans to be job creators. As a physician who has his own practice, he mentors and encourages students to create their own jobs.
“We are not encouraged to be job creators,” he said. “I think what I try to do with young people is to try to get them to figure out how to contribute to job creation — all of us need to think along those lines so that hopefully we will be job creators.”
In 2007, Blake was appointed to the PCOM Board of Trustees and serves as chair of the board’s development committee. He is also a member of the board’s student and academic affairs committee. Through his involvement on the board, he honors a select few of graduating PCOM medical students with a reception and mentors a number of students in the city. Blake hopes his gift will encourage more doctors to help and inspire other future doctors.
“As far as anything I do it’s all about mentoring — if I can do it, you can do it,” he said.