Christopher Jones, M.D. completed his Dermatology specialty training at Penn State Dermatology, where he served as Chief Resident in his last year. He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and received his undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. He completed medical school at The University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile, Alabama, graduating as his class' valedictorian and completed his internship in Internal Medicine at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Jones completed a fellowship at Stanford University in Cutaneous Oncology and was director of the Dermatology branch of the Bethesda Mission during his residency, a free dermatology clinic in Harrisburg, PA providing care to those in need, and spent a month in Botswana, Africa in 2008 volunteering at free clinics throughout the country.
Dr. Jones was the recipient of the Mary Louise Witmer Resident Humanitarian Award at Penn State Medical Center. Dr. Jones is Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology. He is currently a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), the Texas Medical Association, and the Travis County Medical Society.
What pushed you to build a school for African children 10,000 miles away?
Africa’s education crisis rarely makes headlines. Rectifying the lack of physical structures required for schooling is the first step towards education reform. As a physician who was fortunate enough to be able to attend school for nearly two decades, I have experienced firsthand the monumental impact a quality education can have on one’s life. Africa’s children should have the right to an education as I did — one that offers them a better future.
What is your vision for these children?
History has shown that educated children stand a better chance of having opportunities for constructive and positive lives. The children of the Maasai (and all of Africa’s children) are entitled to education as a fundamental human right and should not have to struggle to realize this right. My hope is that our school will provide a foundation for these children to make the most of their potential and propel themselves towards fulfilled, prosperous lives.
How will education eradicate poverty?
"'Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime,' said Laozi (老子), an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. Education is essential to poverty eradication. Without an education system to teach basic life skills (such as reading and writing), economic development is impossible. Quality education generates self-confidence, improves quality of life, raises productivity, and provides greater employment opportunities. This creates the possibility for upward mobility and shared economic growth. If we keep the momentum going towards education reform, school by school, we will help break the cycle of poverty.