As Scout Treadwell starts her last semester at Ole Miss before embarking on a career in medicine, she’s grateful for the start she got at Benjamin Russell High School in Alexander City.

“When it’s time for finals, I like to come home to study. It’s always comforting to come back,” Treadwell said.

A biochemistry major with two health-related minors, Treadwell said she’s grateful to have been born and raised in a place where people look out for each other.

“We are a big family in Tallapoosa County,” Treadwell said. “If you’re sick, you’re on somebody’s prayer list at church. You always have someone looking out for you.”

Her high school experience prepared her well for a college career that opened her eyes to world health and helped her develop confidence and leadership skills for the future, she said.

“The teachers gave me a great academic background. I felt confident going into my first college classes,” she said.

Treadwell, who hopes to continue her education in medicine or biomedical science, represented the community as Tallapoosa County’s Distinguished Young Woman in 2016 and learned that diligence and hard work could help her reap great rewards.

“Distinguished Young Woman is a program that cultivates young female leaders. It helped me work on interview skills. Putting myself out there and getting on stage with 60-plus other girls helped me build confidence,” she said.

At Ole Miss, Treadwell further developed her communication skills by giving tours of the campus as an Ole Miss Ambassador.

“I meet people from across the world and learned that I had to figure out a way to make a connection with them to promote the University of Mississippi,” she said.

She joined a medical team at a clinic in Peru and visited remote villages to serve patients who did not have adequate access to medical care.

“We did general check-ups, filled cavities, opened a pharmacy that provided people the medications they needed. I’m so grateful for that experience,” Treadwell said.

“I am currently conducting my thesis research on breast cancer. My advisor, who does half of her research in China, and I are studying how different products that we use every day can affect the metastasis of breast cancer. I’ve had the opportunity to visit St. Jude’s, too,” she said. “One of my minors is society and health, which looks at social issues that can cause health disparities – epidemiology studies, poverty levels and education and how that affects people’s health.”

She’s also learned that it’s important to take care of her own health, so Treadwell takes time for hot yoga and is training for a half marathon that will benefit St. Jude’s. And she makes a point of coming home to Tallapoosa County to prepare for tests.

“Everyone knows who you are here. I love that,” she said.