At Miller, Dawson, Sigal, and Ward, we started the Thumbs Up Guys Scholarship as a way to promote community service and a spirit of helping others. We’re proud to award Oluwaseyi Adelakun as one of this year’s three winners of the $1,000 scholarship prize.
Ms. Adelakun is a native of Columbia, South Carolina, but her winning essay highlights her drive to assist family members far across the world in Nigeria. Travelling to the country as an 11-year-old, she was perplexed by her parents’ diligent preparation.
“Every morning, I would wake to see my parents meticulously laying out different medications for me and my brothers to take,” she wrote. Her father explained that the reason for the meticulousness was disease prevention. Specifically, he worried about the transmission of malaria.
On that and subsequent trips to Nigeria, Adelakun pondered at the fact that her Nigerian family members didn’t seem as concerned about the disease. But her heart sank when she learned why. “They explained that mosquito repellents were not easily accessible, and the malaria vaccine was extremely costly,” she wrote.
Upset by the fact that her family risked serious, deadly disease simply due to the high price of vaccinations and the unavailability of repellent, Adelakun set to work doing her research. Now, Phase One of her research is complete. She has discovered that monoterpenes in essential oils work well as mosquito repellent.
Oluwaseyi Adelakun’s Future Plans
Next on her list, which she hopes to achieve with help from professors and students at the University of South Carolina, is to use the best-performing oils in thyme and mint to create a tangible product. An ultimate goal, if possible, is to develop an affordable mosquito repellent that can be sold locally and expanded into an international market.
In the fall of 2021, Oluwaseyi Adelakun will attend USC’s Honors College. She plans to major in Biological Sciences. The attorneys and staff at MDSW could not be happier for Ms. Adelakun and wish her the best of luck with her development of a safe, cheap mosquito repellent.
Read Oluwaseyi Adelakun’s winning essay here.