Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.
I'm Doug Johnson. This week on our program, we play some new
music by Diane Birch …
answer a question about a well known children's doctor ..
first, we report about how young people across the United States are going
Young people across
the United States are taking part in the "Go Green" revolution. From Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., they are
helping to make the world a more environmentally friendly place. Some young people are taking care of local
parks. Others are helping to build green
housing. Barbara Klein has more.
than eight hundred young people in Washington, D.C., spent the summer learning
about their environment. They were part
of the city's Green Summer Job Corps, a project of the District Department of
The Green Summer
program provided young people with hands-on experience and education on issues
of environmental importance. They were
able to choose from a number of different projects. Some helped to rid the city of troublesome
invasive plants, or cared for trees at city parks and schools. Others carried out energy studies of city
school buildings to make sure the equipment and systems work effectively. Still others performed community outreach
services to help educate people on the importance of going green.
said it was a "win-win" situation. The
communities were improved by the work. The young people got a chance to make a difference in their communities. And they got meaningful on-the-job training
for what is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing careers of the future.
This was the second year of the Green Summer Job Corps in Washington. There were twice as many students taking
part as last year.
are similar programs in states around the country. Many American lawmakers, including President
Obama, believe the green industry will become a way out of poverty for
economically troubled communities. The
demand for employees with green skills will continue to grow as the world seeks
to become more earth friendly. And,
programs like D.C.'s Green Summer Job Corps will help to fill the need.
Our listener question this week comes from Abdullahi
Farah, who wants to know about the life and work of Doctor Benjamin Carson.
Doctor Carson is an internationally recognized
neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He has been the director of Pediatric
Neurosurgery at the hospital for twenty-five years. At the age of thirty-three, he became one of
the youngest doctors in the United States to hold that position. And he was the
first African-American to have that position at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Ben Carson is known for his extraordinary work as a
brain surgeon for children. He has
created operating methods used by other surgeons and performed historic brain
example, in nineteen eighty-seven, he led a team of seventy doctors and nurses
in an operation to separate two babies joined at the head. Earlier attempts by other surgeons on other
babies had failed. Doctor Carson
successfully performed the operation. Both babies were able to survive independently.
Carson is also known for performing other complex operations on children,
including one called a hemispherectomy. He removes part of the brain to stop severe, uncontrollable
seizures. A seizure is like an
electrical storm in the brain.
Carson has written four books. His first
book, "Gifted Hands," tells the story of his life. Benjamin Carson was born in nineteen
fifty-one in Detroit, Michigan. His
parents ended their marriage when he was eight years old. His mother, Sonya Carson, raised Ben and his
older brother on her own. She had very
little education. She could not read
well. And she worked at two or three jobs to support her family. The family was poor and lived in a
neighborhood of crime and violence.
a boy, Ben was not a good student. In
fact, he was the worst in his class. When his mother learned of his failing grades she required her sons to
read two library books every week. She
limited the amount of time they watched television. And she told them to reject racial
Ben Carson soon became the top student in his class. He went on to study at Yale University, one
of the best universities in the country, and later to medical school at the
University of Michigan.
Doctor Carson has received many awards and honors. Last
year he received the nation's highest civilian honor. Former President George W. Bush presented
Benjamin Carson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a ceremony at the
Birch is a young singer whose music takes listeners back to the soul and pop
music of the nineteen seventies. Born in the United States, she grew up in
Africa and Australia with her family. Critics say her first album, "Bible
Belt," shows she has a very promising career ahead of her. Mario Ritter tells us more.
was the song "Valentino." Diane Birch writes all of her songs and plays the
piano and organ. She started learning to play the piano when she was about
seven years old.
Birch's father was a religious worker. She grew up in a very restrictive
religious community. When she moved back to the United States, she did not know
much about popular culture. She only knew classical music and religious songs.
She learned all kinds of music, including jazz, rock and folk.
And she taught herself to play these kinds of
music. Here is the song "Fire Escape."
Birch moved to Los Angeles, California when she was old enough to live
independently. She found work as a
pianist and played in hotels. She later decided to take a singing class so she
could perform the music she had been writing. The songs she posted on her
MySpace page caught the attention of the music industry and led to a record
leave you with "Nothing but a Miracle" from the album "Bible Belt."
I'm Doug Johnson. Our program was written by Dana
Demange, Lawan Davis and June Simms. Mario Ritter was our producer. For transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs, go to voaspecialenglish.com.
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Do you have a question about people, places or things
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Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio
magazine in Special English.