BMSA Basketball Tournament: Halftime Interview with JD Foureau

Written by Shalom Adams, with photos by Allen Tsiyer

4th-semester student Shalom Adams caught up with classmate JD Foureau, E-Board member of the Black Medical Student Association (BMSA), during halftime at a recent BMSA Basketball Tournament. Read on to learn more about BMSA and how the organization gives back to the Sint Maarten community.

How many members are there in the Black Medical Student Association (BMSA)?

About 35 members currently. 

What is your role in BMSA?

I hold the E-Board position of Workshop and Community Service Coordinator. We organize medical skills workshops which include teaching intubation, suturing, and injections. Last semester was the first time we had done these, and we want to keep at least two a semester from here on out.

As Community Service Coordinator I organize the Community Outreach program for high school students. We have the students come to campus and show them around the school. Within the school we give them demonstrations on taking vitals, performing ultrasounds, and the patient simulation lab at AUC. We also have lunch for them, and a seminar about the medical field and what it takes to get into it.

How many events does the organization host each semester?

We have the basketball tournament, AUC talent show, two general body meeting with a seminar/activity by the meeting, at least two community service events and more. So at least seven events per semester.

Which is your favorite event that BMSA hosts?

The Community Action Day event: guiding local high school students through AUC’s campus and simulation labs. It’s great for me to see the youth interested in medicine and I enjoy being able to give them this exposure.

Does it make you feel closer to your fellow peers to compete in the basketball tournament?

Most people that are playing in today’s event I play basketball with often, some even weekly. We are competing today in the event, but it’s all fun and games to us in the end. Everyone knows it’s to raise money and to raise spirits.

What is the reason for the tournament and where are the proceeds going?

All of our events as an organization are to raise money for the Future Physician Scholarship we run. To be a member of BMSA, it’s a onetime fee of $25 while you’re here at AUC. That’s why we host fundraisers to give back to the community. One way we do this is through the Future Physician Scholarship, which awards $1000 each to two students from the Sint Maarten community who want to become a physician.

We started the scholarship this past May by getting in touch with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Education for Sint Maarten. After speaking with them, we were able to find many students interested in the scholarship. We asked all the students interested to write an essay about how education has brought them through adversity and how they used education to get through tough times in their lives. From there, we selected two students, and we plan to give out the scholarship annually. 

Editor's Note: JD was the recipient of AUC's Social Accountability Scholarship for his work with local youth on Sint Maarten. Learn more > 

How do events like the basketball tournament help you with your studies?

Competing helps with time management. During the week leading up to the event, you need to prepare to take a day off from studying. I woke up this morning early to study at least five hours before the event. Competing also clears my head, and it’s not just the players: even the spectators gain from it. It allows people to get back to it and work harder afterwards.

What has AUC done for you as a person, and in what way has AUC changed you?

AUC gave me an opportunity. That’s the biggest thing—to be able to go to medical school. And I know now that I can do it. When I first started, I was worried about going to medical school. Now with all the hard work I have put in—and continue to put in—I’m in 4th semester now and I know I can do it. I am doing it.