A University of Mississippi Luckyday Scholar from Clinton has earned a spot in the selective University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Rural Physicians Scholarship Program.
Esosa Adah, a junior biochemistry major, was accepted into the prestigious program, which places medical professionals in small Mississippi towns to help combat rural physician shortage and improve the health of Mississippians.
“Esosa sincerely cares about people,” said Patrick Perry, director of Luckyday Programs. “He has a lot to give. We push him because we know what he’s capable of. We’re very excited of this opportunity and very proud of him.”
Launched in 2007, the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program supports students beginning their junior year of undergraduate studies through medical school and generalist residency training. Upon completion of the program, students agree to practice in a town of fewer than 20,000 residents, located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.
Luckyday students have experienced the benefits of giving back to Mississippi firsthand; the program, established by late Frank R. Day, a former chairman of the board and CEO of Trustmark National Bank, provides deserving high school students with opportunities to attend a major university through financial and academic support.
“Frank Day felt strongly about giving back to the state of Mississippi and he did that throughout his lifetime and even now after his death,” Perry said. “The Rural Physicians Scholarship program is about that. He would be thrilled and so excited about our students being in a program where they are going to give back to the state of Mississippi once they begin their medical careers. We’re very lucky to have these students.”
Adah said that from mock interviews to visits to the campus career center, the Luckyday program was instrumental in helping him through the application process.
Through the Luckyday Success Program, students receive academic support including study hall and career development assistance. Scholars must also complete community service requirements.
Adah, who plans to specialize in pediatrics, said that while he’s always enjoyed working with children, his involvement in the Luckyday program has broadened those opportunities. In addition to work as a Luckyday peer leader and with the Chancellor’s Leadership Class, Adah recently worked with Crenshaw Elementary School in an underserved community near Como.
“We donated backpacks and pencils – even small stuff,” he said. “Those kids got a chance to come back (to UM) to see where the students came from. I was able to take the kids around, and just seeing their faces solidified that I would like to work in place like that, where I could hopefully inspire kids to realize that they can make it to a great institution like this one day and be successful in life.”
Adah, son of Felix and Esther Adah of Clinton, is a graduate of Clinton High School.