Dr. Ben Carson visits Chattanooga; celebrates local scholars

Carson Scholars Fund premieres original film honoring scholarship recipients

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Former Presidential Candidate Dr. Ben Carson was in Chattanooga tonight to take in a movie at the local A-M-C.

But it wasn’t a Hollywood blockbuster, and it didn’t star any famous actors.

Carson is the co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which gifts one-thousand-dollar college scholarships to young students throughout the country who exemplify achievement both in class and in their communities.

To celebrate, the Carson Scholars Fund presented “Carson Scholars: Heroes Among Us” — an original short film starring and honoring this year’s scholarship recipients.

On Wednesday, some of Chattanooga’s Carson Scholars made their way downtown to the movies to catch the film.

“This year, we’re honoring them with a movie premiere that is about some aliens who come to Earth to look for the most important and wonderful thing there and they find the Carson Scholars,” Dr. Carson said. “It highlights a lot of the scholars on what they’re doing.”

When the Scholars Fund couldn’t host their usual banquet to honor the kids, Dr. Carson’s wife of 46 years, Candy, said the staff got creative behind the project.

“Actually, on their planet, a young baby is born with a lot of wrinkles and looks like an old person,” Carson said. “Then as they mature, then they look younger and younger, which is kind of cool.”

Throughout the history of the Scholars Fund, over 10,000 scholarships have been awarded to “bright and compassionate students across the nation.”

The Carsons believe the film isn’t just a good way to celebrate their accomplishments, but that it’s also a representation that Carson Scholars are being built to be future leaders of America.

“We can celebrate the fact that we want to develop ourselves to be the best that we can be so that in the future when our country’s looking for leaders, we’re here,” Carson said.

“We’re trying to develop the leaders for tomorrow and we need people who are not only smart but who really are people who understand the needs of others and try to help,” Dr. Carson said. “It would make a big difference.”

New local scholars were presented with a medal tonight, while recognized scholars were given a pin to add to the ribbon on their existing medal.

The Carsons’ dream through the organization is to someday name a Carson Scholar at every school not just in Chattanooga, but throughout the entire country.

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