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Vicksburg native accepted to Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program

Nikirah Bridges, a Vicksburg native, and a junior at the University of Southern Mississippi, was recently selected to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program. Bridges is the daughter of Nicholas and Tara Bridges.

Created in 2013, MRDSP identifies college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate the necessary commitment and academic achievement to become competent, well-trained rural dentists in our state. The program offers undergraduate academic enrichment and clinical experience in a rural setting.

Upon completion of all dental school admissions requirements, the student can use the scholarship at the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry.

During dental school, each MRDSP scholar may receive $35,000 per year based on available funding. Consistent legislative support of MRDSP translates to nine dental students receiving a total of $315,000 to support their education this fall. Additional benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural dentists and academic support.

The MRDSP Scholar must provide four years of service in a practice in an approved Mississippi community of 10,000 or fewer people located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.

The MRDSP provides a means for rural Mississippi students to receive mentoring during the dental school application process, earn a $140,000 dental school scholarship in return for four years of service, and learn firsthand from practicing rural dentists.