How long have you practiced in Greenville? How has it been to learn your profession and grow your practice in the Upstate?
I have practiced as an Adolescent Medicine Specialist in Greenville since June 2019, but was part of the General Pediatric Group for 2 additional years with Prisma prior to my fellowship! I’ve been a doctor (including my residency) in Greenville since 2010! Growing the footprint of Adolescent Medicine in the Upstate has easily been the most fulfilling part of my career thus far! There are so many adolescents and young adults (AYA) here that need guidance, support, affirmation, and a space to figure out how to thrive. I’m biased, but I think I have the best job in the world.
What brought you to work with younger generations?
I love being able to motivate and challenge those I encounter to see possibilities in their life, and I see teens as a “clean slate” for that work. They have so many experiences they are yet to discover and to be a part of that journey and see how they mature through the years really is something unlike anything else!
How did the PrideFest begin and what have you seen come out of it?
It began as an idea in Feb 2021 when I realized Adolescent Medicine in the Upstate turns 2yo in June and that also happens to be Pride Month. I saw Pridefest as a way to not only show the LGBT community that Adolescent Medicine is here and growing, but that there is ENDLESS support from the upstate community to bring fun and excitement back to being proud of who they are!
In your eyes, what are some goals and values that the event wishes to achieve? Why is it important to hold events such as PrideFest?
The main goal is visibility, showing this community there are those who accept you without judgement or prerequisite. Safe Fun and networking are other goals the event hopes to achieve. Regarding values, I’d say equality, grace, compassion, empathy, and love are the ones that come to mind first. Events such as PrideFest are necessary to provide hope to a community that has faced and continues to face adversity on a regular basis. While this is a celebration of Pride, at its core, it’s a celebration of being human in every sense of the word, and that’s powerful stuff!
Adolescents are our future, and the next generation should be guided by the lessons of the past. Have you seen a shift in social values between previous generations and Gen Z/Alpha?
Hands down, YES! People of all generations are speaking their mind more freely and more often and its amazing! The messages and opinions may be different at times, but processing and framing the differences is how we can help our emerging generations figure out what comes next for them! Yeah, there are still some “old school” thinkers who don’t understand our more recent generations or even fully understand the Pride movement, but that’s where the conversation should start, not where it should end.