Carl Allamby did not understand why he needed to take a biology class while pursuing a business degree he planned to use to help grow his small business. He took the class only when told he needed it to graduate, but within the first hour, he knew his path had to change.
That was the beginning of a 10-year journey that saw Allamby finish that business degree and complete a second undergraduate degree before acing his med school entrance exam. He completed his medical degree and graduated last year at age 47. He is currently a first-year emergency medicine resident at Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital.
At a recent Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast, Allamby said he was interested in medicine when he was young, but a lack of role models and his East Cleveland neighborhood, where he said “survival took precedence over education” meant his early job at an auto parts store turned into a decades-long auto repair career and ultimately two successful shops.
Medical school meant dissolving his business, going through the family’s savings, and committing to student loans. Allamby knew the stakes were high, but even with all of the pressure, he finally felt free to go after a dream. The support of his wife and kids were integral to his success. His commitment resulted in a stellar academic record and his selection for a three-year Emergency Medicine residency.
From a story in The Plain Dealer, Allamby’s story has been picked up by news outlets around the world and widely shared online. He was featured on the CBS Evening News, CBS Sunday Morning, and NPR’s Weekend Edition. People around the world have been inspired by his ambition and dedication, and his willingness to change the course of his story.
Initially surprised at the attention and response, he now understands how his journey resonates with others, “A lot of people feel my story is inspirational because it shows them they don’t have to live the status quo and that things can change,” Allamby said. His inspiring story also shows that it is never too late to change course.
What would you change in your life with the right inspiration?