2022 Total Medical Supply Hero Scholarship Recipient Rashad Thrower

Total Medical is located locally in Texarkana and services the medical supply needs of thousands of patients nationwide. This year, Total Medical awarded two $10,000 Hero Scholarships to high school seniors for their college careers. Arkansas High graduates Keonnie Strickland and Rashad Thrower were the first recipients of the Hero Scholarship. Recipients of the Hero Scholarships are also awarded internships at Total Medical. Interns are given the opportunity to work in a progressive and friendly environment and are trained in various aspects of the business. The greatest focus is on training patient/customer service skills that can be applied in any field they wish to explore during and after college. The internship shows the extreme value that a caring individual can bring to a team and what a company culture can and should look like. Total Medical Supply uses available resources to connect and build the intern's network with people in their desired field. The hope is for interns to build confidence in themselves and prove that a safe and yet challenging workspace does exist.

Rashad Thrower
2022 Arkansas High School Graduate
2022-2023 Freshman at The University of Central Arkansas

I am ecstatic to be one of the first recipients of the Hero Scholarship. When given the award, Total Medical’s Chief Executive Officer stated, “This award is for students who exemplify giving back to their community through community service and a sense of excellence.” Looking back at all the different activities I partook in, I did not see any of them as community service. As I was helping and engaging in the community, I was having fun, so it became a hobby. 

One thing that I love about the idea of community service is the ability to work with a generation younger than me. Having the opportunity to work with, connect with, and mentor youth will always be the reason I continue to serve the community. I believe kids learn best from other kids, and for them to see an older kid trying to work hard in the community may encourage them to do the same. 

I enjoy riding to the Washington School some days and speaking with the youth there. I enjoy getting to know more about them. I try to encourage them when I am there and let them know that they can do anything they want to do in life. I remind them to always strive for excellence, whatever it looks like, and not let society discourage them from their dreams. 

One year I participated in Pride Academy at Arkansas High School. I had band practice starting the same week as Pride Academy. When I left band practice, I rushed to College Hill to join the fun with Pride because I did not want to miss out on any teachings or activities. I wanted to stay committed to both. Being a recipient has made me realize that people are always watching even when you least expect it. This realization encourages me to continue to be a part of building and supporting our community, starting where help most is needed in the community - the youth.

Since this was the first year of the Hero Scholarship, the selection committee asked me questions about some things that should be incorporated or considered when looking for a scholarship candidate. I believe the committee for this scholarship should look at each candidate as a whole and not one particular aspect of each individual. I say this because I think everyone has different strengths that make them who they are. I may not have been the most academic person in my school, but I was one of the most caring students representing Arkansas High. This is why I believe candidates should not be assessed by their academics or athleticism alone but also for their maturity, personality, and the goals they have set. I think this strategy will allow the recipient selection for the Hero Scholarship to remain diverse and fair. 

In addition to being a recipient of the Hero Scholarship, participating in the internship has been an amazing experience. It has taught me work etiquette, has made me more social, and has boosted my customer interaction skills. I watch some employees interact with each other, and they are like family. Leaving them for college will be hard, but I hope the relationships I have built last, and I plan to see them again next summer. I would like to thank the Total family again for these wonderful opportunities. I cannot wait to see and learn more about future recipients, and I hope my story and experience encourage them. 

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