Stories: Today he’s a doctor, but first he was a part of Youth United Way

Dr. Joseph Bynum

Dr. Joseph Bynum was a part of Youth United Way while in high school. Today we are proud to share his story of success.

Dr. Joseph Anthony Bynum wasn’t always a doctor – in fact, he was one of several students from White Station High School when he became enrolled in our Youth United Way Leadership Program.

Bynum, 26, spent his first twenty-two years in Memphis. He attended Peabody Elementary School, White Station Middle School and White Station High School before completing his undergraduate degree at Rhodes College. For his medical training, he has studied at the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. He will begin his residency program at Methodist later this year.

“I was a part of Youth United Way throughout my high school career, primarily 2000-2003,” Bynum said.  “Youth United Way had a tremendous impact on shaping the individual I am today. The program instilled accountability, team leadership, and a great sense of self-reliance. The students have ownership of a project from its grass-roots to the time when the project is shaped into fruition.”

Youth United Way gave Bynum a very close group of friends that were like-minded, focused on making good grades and participating in service-oriented activities. Bynum said that Youth United Way was a perfect place for forming positive peer-to-peer relationships.

Now that he has a medical career, Bynum sees how his work is in part an extension of his Youth United Way work of helping people.

“In my eyes, medicine is the perfect bridge of academic intrigue and direct service,” he said. “Medicine keeps me intellectually sharp, and I serve in a role as both teacher and student. I can have a positive impact on patients and the people I come across.”

Bynum hopes that after he returns to Memphis, he can serve as an adult advisor to the students involved in Youth United Way today. He credits the mentoring and role modeling displayed by Clint Anderson (Director of Youth United Way) for helping usher him into a position where he can spark motivation and confidence in people’s lives.

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