Vladimir, Christian, and Olivia Geneus are siblings from Boston, Massachusetts, who are all doctors. Interestingly, their parents, Jacques and Chantal Geneus are also medical doctors. Jacques and Chantal instilled the value of education in their children growing up. Today, all three children who are of Haitian origin have earned their PhD degrees in their fields of study.
“Our parents — successful physicians — encouraged us. They always encouraged us to pursue education to be successful in life — to have an impact on ourselves, our family, and the community,” Vladimir told Forbes.
Vladimir and his siblings attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMass-Amherst) for their undergraduate degrees. Vladimir, who is the oldest, graduated in 2009 before Christian did in 2011 followed by Olivia in 2017.
All three siblings said they chose UMass because they wanted to remain local and close to home, enabling them to enjoy Boston sports, which they can’t do without. And thanks to the support they received from their parents, Vladimir currently works at AbbVie, in Chicago Illinois, after obtaining his Ph.D. in statistics in 2017 from Florida State University.
His sister Olivia earned her Ph.D. from SUNY-Buffalo in chemistry in 2022 and is now working at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their brother Christian, who received a Ph.D. in biostatistics and data science as well as math and computer science from Tulane University in 2020, works at Proctor & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The siblings said they were drawn to science after watching the everyday activities of their parents and the love they gave to their patients as medical doctors. Their parents nevertheless did not mind the field their children chose to be in as they believed that as long as they were educated, they could succeed in their various endeavors.
“It really didn’t matter what the field, they knew a lot of doors and opportunities would open with education. They said, ‘they can’t take away the degree from you’,” Olivia recalled her parents saying.
Indeed, in the U.S., the more than 40 million black population is making serious waves in various sectors of the economy – healthcare, entertainment, business, sports, and technology – and is generating revenue and creating jobs. This is in spite of the unfair political attacks Blacks tend to face in many jurisdictions.
The Geneus family’s story is thrilling and inspiring because even though Black scientists have contributed to society and made groundbreaking discoveries throughout history to this day, Blacks remain underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics when compared to their overall distribution in the U.S. population.
According to research published in the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Blacks were about 12 percent of the adult population in the U.S. but made up only 9 percent of the STEM workforce in 2021.
The Geneus siblings are indeed paving the way for other Blacks while giving back to their communities, as advised by their parents.