Tears began to flow down Bria Peacock’s face long before she arrived at James Brown Arena on Thursday.
But as she sat down with other graduate students at Georgia Medical College during the Hooding Ceremony, when she was given the title of doctor, she had another big surprise that really surprised her: a national award from the States Surgeon General United by their years of public service work in the US and abroad.
Peacock received the 2021 Award for Excellence in Public Health from the U.S. Public Health Service, becoming the third MCG student in school history to receive its highest student award. of medicine. And it’s more than deserving, said Dr. Kathryn Martin, associate dean of MCG’s regional campuses.
“He set up an peer-to-peer education group for high school girls to address teen pregnancy prevention statewide, nationwide and worldwide, specifically in Peru and Kenya,” he said. dir Martin.
While at MCG, he founded Sisters Informing Health Living and Empowering, which aimed to combat not only teen pregnancy, but sexually transmitted diseases and HIV through sex education, abstinence, and building self-esteem. She helped coordinate a free women’s clinic and, meanwhile, researched women’s health, cervical cancer, and cardiovascular disease that gained national recognition.
He also secured a residency at the University of California, San Francisco, “the most important residency program in the United States for obstetrics and gynecology,” Martin said. It was the “result of his many years of study, mentoring, preparation and simple hard work,” he said.
Her classmates roared when her name was announced and her family in the audience cheered her on loudly as she passed by, making them a small wave as she headed to the stage.
Then tears kept running as I tried to speak.
“Oh God, I’m very shocked,” Peacock said. “My mother is ecstatic. I’m really speechless.”
Above all, she felt humiliated, but grateful that her work had made a difference.
“I’m grateful it has affected so many people,” Peacock said. “That’s the goal. I didn’t think it would happen so soon. I hope it continues to grow.”
That’s why he’s always been fighting, to make a difference in the community, “and leave it better than when I came,” he said. “That’s the goal.”