Dr. Ben Carson and his wife Candy join Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson and wife Deb for an event at Mountain City Church on Aug. 22.

Hundreds of Anchorage youth heard inspiring stories this week from Dr. Ben Carson about American history and the importance of defending freedom and kindling faith.

After Anchorage Schools Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt unceremoniously blocked Carson from a speaking engagement with students at Mountain View Elementary, the Medal of Freedom honoree visited alternative locations with his message of hope and determination. Over the past two days he spoke at a public school in the Mat-Su, Holy Rosary Academy in Anchorage, the Mountain View Boys & Girls Club and Mountain City Church.

Mayor Dave Bronson, along with his wife Deb, were instrumental in guiding Carson and his wife Candy to various engagements in Anchorage, where the famed brain surgeon urged youth to learn about American history, while holding fast to their faith and convictions.

“Deb and I were honored to have Dr. Ben & Candy Carson in our great city,” Bronson stated on Aug. 22. “Having Dr. Carson and his wife Candy Carson here was an absolute treat, and we wish them well on the rest of their trip!”

Dr. Ben Carson and his wife Candy read inspiring stories about America’s founding to students at Holy Rosary Academy on Aug. 22.

Superintendent Bryantt’s abrupt and inexplicable decision to disinvite the renown Carson has stirred the ire of many educational advocates across the state, fueling speculation that the decision was motivated by partisan political ideology. Byrantt has offered no rationale for his decision, apart from asserting that he has the authority to cancel such invitations.

One day after speaking to a packed gymnasium at Iditarod Elementary in Wasilla, Carson visited Holy Rosary Academy in Anchorage on Aug. 22 to remind the student body that America is still a place of great hope, where people come from all over the world to pursue their dreams.

He recounted his own difficult childhood, overcoming poverty, naysayers and poor schooling in Detroit to become one of the most respected neurosurgeons in the world.

“Interestingly enough, I wasn’t a very good student,” he told rapt Holy Rosary students, many of whom held miniature U.S. flags. “I was a terrible student.”

Carson recalled that he was at the bottom of his class in the fifth grade, before his mother began encouraging him and his brother to turn off the tv and read inspiring books. They also supplemented their public education with trips to museums and art galleries.

Students from Holy Rosary Academy speak with Dr. Ben Carson on Aug. 22.

“The only person who really believed in me was my mother,” he said. “She was always encouraging me … she knew education was the key the escape from poverty.”

As he began to read more books, Carson said his childhood imagination was sparked by what he might be able to accomplish with his life. He stopped listening to negative comments and claims of victimhood, and began focusing on what he could do to proactively change his life, he said.

By sixth grade, Carson was at the top of his class. He later headed off to college and eventually became one of the most gifted and celebrated brain surgeons in U.S. history. In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2016, he ran for president before later serving as a cabinet secretary under President Trump.

During his talk at Holy Rosary, Carson reminded students that they were created in God’s image, and he encouraged them to pursue whatever God puts in their path. He also urged the youth to study history, learn from the past and become independent thinkers.

“People who are not very knowledgeable are very easy to manipulate,” he warned.

Following his opening remarks, Carson joined his wife in reading a children’s book he co-authored called “Why America Matters.” It highlights the founding ideals and extraordinary history that has made America the envy of the world.

At one point, Carson told the students that the reason we stand for the Pledge of Allegiance is because it “stands for freedom.”

He concluded by challenging students to love others, stand by their convictions and remember the many heroes who fought and died to preserve the freedoms they now enjoy.

“Why did they do that?” he asked. “Obviously they didn’t do it for themselves. They did it for you and me.”

Before departing he emphasized that everyone has unique talents, which can be unlocked if they live honestly and listen to those who have come before them – parents, grandparents, teachers.

“We need to be incredibly grateful for what we have,” he said.

Alaska Watchman is reader supported. Click here to keep this media project going strong.

After Anchorage school visit blocked, Dr. Carson visits alternative sites to inspire kids to cherish America’s founding ideals

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Neil says:

    I’m very happy tge mayor was able to get this great man to speak at alternate locations. The Democrats being People who are not very knowledgeable are very easy to manipulate,” he warned , weren’t able to stop him. Tge message that he shared will speak volumes in tgeir minds in later life. Tge only loosers here were tge children of Anchorage schools and only because of a Superintendent with a small prejudice mind!

  • James D. Duncan says:

    What’s not to like about Dr. Carson? Great man, great American and great servant.

  • Shelia says:

    This is how you expose an entrenched lie – you sow doubts with the very targets that were originally those to be propagandized. Bring in someone like Dr. Carlson with his background and let those children with a similar background see that the only barrier to their success is being convinced by others that they cannot succeed because of their circumstances. Also bring in someone like Chloe Cole who was the subject of a disastrous decision to show the consequences of following that entrenched lie to continue sowing doubts among children who could be propagandized to their detriment. When you have a Washington administration that is so insanely left but at the same time so powerful, this is one way to keep attacking in the war of ideas in which we are engaged. And make no mistake – we are in a war against an ideology that will destroy everything we hold dear.

  • Bruce says:

    They used to hobble black men who fled the plantations. Now they just censor the black man who leaves the plantation . We’ve come a long way baby.

  • Adron Lewis says:

    My wife was able to see him in Wasilla. What a wonderful experience to have listen to him speak. It’s so sad how one man can manipulate what kids can learn. So happy Ole Larson is getting things back on track in Mat-Su Borough

  • Penny Johnson says:

    Mr. tt tt is a disgrace and an embarrassment. talk about diversity equity and inclusion. He’s a no experience, Illegitimate bureaucrat & a hypocrite

  • David Boyle says:

    Thank you Mountain City Christian Academy for inviting Dr Carson and his wife, Candy, to inspire the youth to aspire to the maximum