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Adetola Awarun

2855

Bold Points

2x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

Bio

I want to help people. I’ve realized how fulfilling it is to be able to make life a lot easier for people so I’m going to finish my studies and establish a non-profit that handles health care for people who can’t afford it. I’m already part of a budding NGO called ‘Recyclub’; we intend to groom kids into becoming environmentally conscious leaders. I believe that the first stage in healing and protecting the health of our communities is awareness and if the people of our world do not seek it for themselves, I intend to take it to them. I believe I’m a great candidate for scholarship donors because we have similar interests. You want to help promising students achieve their dreams, I want to make healthcare accessible to the less privileged. You and me, we’re about giving people a fighting chance at this thing called Life. Help me, let’s work together. Let’s make this world better.

Education

The University of Alabama

Master's degree program
2021 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Public Health

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      I want to own a non-profit that takes care of the health needs for the homeless and people who cannot afford hospital bills in general.

    • Lab Scientist

      Sokoto State Water Board
      2019 – 20201 year
    • Marketing Intern

      GlaxoSmithKline Plc
      2018 – 20191 year
    • Digital Marketing

      Tuteria
      2020 – 20211 year

    Sports

    Basketball

    Varsity
    2015 – 20194 years

    Research

    • Genetics

      McPherson University — Reseacher
      2018 – 2019
    • Public Health

      Mcpherson University — Researcher
      2018 – 2019

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Federal Government College, Sokoto — Basketball Coach
      2019 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      GlaxoSmithKline Plc — Planning Committee
      2018 – 2019

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Bervell Health Equity Scholarship
    Growing up, I remember listening to stories involving the death of people in my community. The standards by which the entire community lived were canonical and utterly based on unhealthy, archaic beliefs. As a child, none of it meant much to me- the polluted water, the poor healthcare system, the poor waste disposal, and the poor irrigation system- until my mother fell fatally ill. We couldn’t afford proper medical treatment at the hospital so we self-medicated; her condition grew worse and it wasn’t till a stranger stepped in and paid for her treatment, did she recover. I would say that the fear of losing my mother to a preventable illness opened my eyes to actions we could take as a collective to protect public health. In my final year of school, I conducted research on the biodegradation of malachite green, a major environmental pollutant and upon reflection on my findings, I visited several industries where I conducted seminars and encouraged them to properly carry out an environmental risk assessment before discharging effluents and that they employ bioremediation techniques in treating their wastewater as it is an eco-friendly and economically viable treatable method. I backed this up by writing an urgent letter of plea to government regulatory bodies asking them to ensure strict compliance with my suggestions by these industries in order to drastically reduce respiratory ailments caused by dye pollution. A few months after I graduated, I was employed to work as a junior lab scientist in Sokoto state, Nigeria, in a community that was just as deprived as the one I grew up in. While I made sure water was fit for consumption before distribution, it wasn’t enough to reduce the mortality rate inflicted by Cholera, so I set out on a course of action that would involve grooming people to be environmentally conscious; I partnered with an old classmate who had established a non-profit- ‘Recyclub’- with similar goals as mine and since we began operations, we've recruited 73 adult volunteers who have joined us in sensitization of rural communities and opening of extra-curricular clubs in 11 primary and secondary schools. My Masters in Public Health at UA will enable me to more efficiently carry out the work I already started- understanding community health issues and providing real solutions to the problems. After I earn my degree, I intend to establish Recyclub in all learning institutions in Nigeria, and around the world. The first stage in healing our communities is awareness and if the people of our world do not seek it for themselves, I intend to take it to them.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    “You have your guard up, why?” My younger brother asked me. We were hanging out and supposed to be having fun after the week’s stress, but instead, I was belligerent; my mind wandered after every word he spoke and resulted in my clipped defensive replies. Two weeks before that, after a long night of mental torture, I had made up my mind to kill myself. One moment I was filled with resolve, the next moment, I was waking up normally like everybody. My brain had shut down from exhaustion causing me to blackout, and that was what saved me. I didn’t ever imagine I could be suicidal; I used to laugh at the depressed and term them weak. Nonetheless, if I had died that night, it wouldn’t have been the first time. Having no sister, I grew up around boys, at home, and in an only-boys boarding school. Honest feelings, emotions, were topics that we never discussed; life was a constant clash of alpha egos and a battle for respect and street credibility. Naturally, I’m a kind, empathetic and loving person, and when I was much younger, I got bullied a lot because I had a severe stutter. I like to think the bullying was what made me bury myself to the point that my old self no longer existed, what made me immerse myself in the struggle of doing the most to earn credibility, not caring about whoever got hurt in the process. The bully (sometimes), the boy who got in fights all the time, the drug addict, the boy who faced suspension; it became my new identity, years passed, and it became my reality. I thought I was cool. My mind got accustomed to it and forgot it was acting until it snapped. The human mind can only handle so much. It is not talked about enough how mental illness paralyzes it and the body of its normal function. My subconscious had continued to build my ego to the point where I truly believed I was above disrespect. Every wrong word, eye movement, facial expression a person made would result in mental torture for me. ‘Are you going to let that slide?’ ‘Boy, you’re a bitch’ ‘You think he could talk to John like that? ‘You’re weak’ ‘You couldn’t achieve that by yourself’ ‘You’re a fraud’ ‘You’ve been fake your entire life’. Besides this sort of one-sided dialogue between the new me and the old me who had gotten tired of being suppressed and wanted to live, my mind would create entire scenarios that were not real and get sad over them. I constantly bullied myself. I couldn’t help it. It didn’t stop as long as I was able to think. This resulted in a lot of abnormal behaviour from me because I did the stupidest things trying to appease my mind; I did some reading, and I think I had developed some form of Obsessive Compulsory Disorder. I had also developed social anxiety that eventually led to chronic depression. Constantly wanting to escape from my head, I found solace in abusing pills and alcohol; they gave me a familiar feeling, and I was happy for a while depending on it. Of course, it didn’t last. I wanted to live normally. I knew life could be enjoyable, but I didn’t know how to go about it. I stopped the drugs and continued to battle with my mind until I couldn’t anymore and decided to end my life. There is no way for me to attach a screenshot, but this is from a note I wrote that night: “Is life actually worth living without being able to enjoy it? What’s the point of achieving goals and dreams if you can’t be happy? It’s hell here. I’m tired. I don’t want to feel like this anymore.” When I woke up, I was dead scared when the reality of what I almost did, hit me. I didn’t want to die. It was at this point that I started to reach out for help. I looked up therapists online; I found some good ones, but I couldn’t afford them, so I decided to talk about it with a few of my trusted friends. Talking helps; sharing your experiences helps. After each time I got to talk about what I was going through with someone and listen to their own experiences, I got better; I don’t know how but it helped me learn new things about myself. I even found myself offering useful advice to people going through the pits, people in similar situations. I’m passionate about helping people, and I write this with sincerity; it gives me utmost joy to know that I’m making a person’s life easier and I’ve decided that it is what I’ll be doing with my life on earth. My experiences have helped me to view life outside of myself. I now find satisfaction in intentionally being kind to people- I must say that this resulted in me being a little kinder to myself. The voices in my head have grown quieter without me forcefully trying to shut it out, and I find myself smiling more. I have become a lot more receptive to people, to God-I believe he played the biggest role in all this because there’s no logical way to explain my growth. I’m still healing and, ironically, the first time I’m writing about this is in a scholarship essay, but I’m also hoping that my story, as strange as it might seem, would encourage someone. Today I have cried and held my head in frustration at my mental state, but it is different now; I am hopeful, I know there’s a future where I’m at peace with myself, and while I still have bad days, I’ve learned to be grateful for the good days and look at life more positively.