Dr. June Elcock-Messam says her passion is showing each child in the chair across from her why they matter.
"I think that every child deserves a chance to be happy and safe and have a bright future. And everything I do is to try to make that happen for as many children as I can," said Elcock-Messam, the president of Every Child Counts and co-founder of Media Pediatrics.
She is the only board-certified child abuse pediatrician in Delaware County.
"My goal always was to grow up, become a doctor and protect kids who experience trauma," she said.
It's something she wished she had as a child growing up and experiencing violence in Guyana.
We are so excited to share that Dr. June Messam, ECC’s founder and president, will be featured on ABC Channel 6’s incredible news segment #HometownHeroes tonight at 5pm! Thanks, @Beccah6abc for sharing Dr. Messam’s story with our community! #philadelphia #hometownheroes #mediapa pic.twitter.com/f39ocq2zFj— everychildcountsinc (@eccinc2021) March 16, 2022
"There were soldiers with guns that would come and tear gas us, beat our teachers, beat students," she said.
When she was 16, her parents immigrated their family of 10 to the United States.
"They gave up everything for us to come and become whatever we wanted," said Elcock-Messam.
Last year, Elcock-Messam's mom passed away. For her, it's still so hard to imagine the woman who sacrificed everything for her kids to have a better life is gone. But it's also why she's working so hard to share that mother's love with every kid who needs it.
"She'd be so proud. She would be so proud," she said.
There's now a scholarship in her name through her daughter's nonprofit, Every Child Counts. Some of its programs include trauma-informed activities for kids going through hard times and resources for children who are homeless or in foster care.
"To be able to help to protect kids, it almost makes sense of my life like why I would have gone through something so difficult as a child," said Elcock-Messam.
It's adversity her mom always knew she would achieve.