DOBSON — A Hispanic doctor’s story of climbing up from a migrant worker to a neurosurgeon is the inspiration for a local education program for migrant families.
In July, Surry County Schools held the first of five scheduled sessions in its Migrant Education Summer Program.
The first meeting was held here at Fisher River Park “with pizza, fellowship and learning,” according to Sonia Dickerson, director of communications, teacher quality and instructional media.
At the meeting, families heard the story of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa and saw copies of his autobiography.
“Dr. Q,” as he’s widely known, grew up in a poor Mexican village. In 1987 at the age of 19, he crossed the border into California, where he worked in the cotton and tomato fields as an undocumented worker. Speaking only Spanish, he saved up money to take a class in English.
He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UC-Berkeley, gained his citizenship in 1997 and then earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School.
He is now a neurosurgeon working at The Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville.
He has won many awards including being named as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the U.S. by Hispanic Business Journal in 2008; as 2014 Neurosurgeon of the Year by Voices Against Brain Cancer, where he was also recognized with the Gary Lichtenstein Humanitarian Award.
Last year, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Brad Pitt had signed on as a producer with Disney to make a film of the doctor’s autobiography: Dr. Q: La Historia de Como un Jornalero Migrante se Convirtio en Neurocirujano.
The summer sessions allowed study of the book, while giving the county school system a chance to let migrant families learn more about educational opportunities here.
At these events, families will receive bilingual resources to help with learning English and will gain insight into the U.S. educational system, according to Dickerson.
“Parents and family members will get information on parent-teacher conferences, open house and beginning school information, parent meetings, and college and career opportunities,” Dickerson noted.
Gerardo Linares and Evette Bustamante de Hernandez, migrant education program recruiters, are leading the project along with support from a Surry Central migrant study who plans to become an interpreter.
Migrant families living in Surry County are welcome to attend the sessions.
The upcoming sessions are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on:
Aug. 17 at Rockford Elementary Schools;
Sept. 7, at Central Middle School, Room 941;
Oct. 5, at Surry Central High School;
Nov. 9, at Surry Community College, in the auditorium of Student Services Building.