to Serve™

Structural racism is the overarching system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations and other norms perpetuate racial inequity.

Woman Getting Vaccinated

EmPOWERED to Serve is a platform inspired by American Heart Association volunteers around the country who are passionate about driving change through health justice and empowerment in their communities.

Communities need localized solutions that will help individuals and families escalate beyond poverty and achieve improved life outcomes. No one knows the changes needed in a community as well as the members themselves. Read about our focus areas and impact goals.

A red to black radial gradient background with three white diagonal strips displaying the words: health innovators, entrepreneurs and change-makers. Business Accelerator appears beneath them.

The Empowered to Serve Business Accelerator

Empowering social and health tech entrepreneurs through training and funding.

What are we looking for?

American Heart Association Scholars Program visual shows a smartphone with a photo of EmPOWERED Scholar Perisa Ashar from Duke University

Building the Pipeline: The Next Generation of Health Care Professionals (HCPs)

Together, it’s about our future. Become a change agent. The 2023 scholars have been selected!

Empowered Scholars Program

Empowering headlines

News, stories and videos that impact your well-being.

Read more Health Equity Headlines

Scholarship and Mentoring Opportunities

EmPOWERED Scholars

EmPOWERED to Serve™ offers college scholarships to students who are passionate about public health, health equity and community engagement, especially those in communities with fewer resources to help students manage financial aid and debt. Currently enrolled freshmen, sophomores and juniors in a U.S. college or university who are working to improve community well-being and have a 2.0 GPA or higher are eligible to apply.

HBCU Scholars Program

The AHA partners with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to help students working toward professional degrees in the biomedical and health sciences. HBCU Scholars learn about the health of their communities, participate in research projects and explore varied career paths. Currently enrolled Black or African sophomores, juniors and seniors at select HBCUs who are highly motivated to seek careers in biomedical or health sciences and have a 3.2 GPA in the sciences are eligible to apply.

HSI Scholars Program

The AHA partners with Hispanic Serving Institutions of Higher Education and their students to create a pipeline for diverse researchers and health care professionals. Scholars are provided academic and career-enriching resources, including scholarships and mentoring. Currently enrolled sophomores, juniors and seniors at select HSIs who are highly motivated to seek careers in biomedical or health sciences and have a 3.0 GPA in the sciences are eligible to apply.

head shot of Sybil Wilkes, a Black woman smiling and wearing a black top and a silver necklace

Check In & Check Up for Your Health with Sybil Wilkes

Don’t miss this!

Host Sybil Wilkes calls on community partners to inform and empower Black Americans for better health. Watch past shows, or tune in to her livestream.

Katrina McGhee and Lili Gil Valletta

Live Fierce / Atrévete a Vivir Podcasts

Science meets self-care. This fun and dynamic series features podcasts hosted by American Heart Association Executive VP of Marketing and Communications Katrina McGhee—who is also a longtime professional coach—and Lili Gil Valletta, co-founder and CEO of the cultural intelligence firms CIEN + and Culturintel.

The American Heart Association recognized Black American changemakers with the National Impact With Heart Awards during Black History Month.

A look at that night

The American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, celebrated the contributions of Black American community catalysts and changemakers nationwide with its inaugural Impact With Heart Awards. The event at the Long Gallery Harlem in New York City acknowledged the transformative work being done at the local level nationwide to improve the lives of Black Americans and communities of color.

The awards honored the specific contributions of two community leaders who have powered the delivery of community-based solutions that shift the health inequity paradigm, remove barriers to health equity and, ultimately, serve the Black community and other communities of color. The 2023 awardees are Charles Daniels, PhD, founder and CEO of Fathers’ UpLift, which provides mental health counseling, coaching and advocacy to assist fathers in Boston, overcome barriers that prevent them from remaining engaged in their children's lives; and Brittany Young, founder of B-360, whose mission is to use dirt bike culture in Baltimore to end the cycle of poverty, disrupt the prison pipeline and build bridges in communities.

During Black History Month and in conjunction with American Heart Month, the American Heart Association is encouraging people to “Be The Beat” for and in their communities by challenging every household or family to have at least one person who knows Hands-Only CPR.

arranged on top a black brick background are the words "Impact with Heart" in gold and the Be The Beat and American Heart Association logos to the left of a colorful painted portrait by James Terrell of a Black woman in a gold frame titled, "Embrace Yourself (Self Love)" (2017)
a professional photo of Pamela Garmon Johnson, a Black woman smiling and standing with arms crossed, wearing a navy blazer and blue and white striped blouse

Color, Coronavirus, Cardiovascular Disease and the Importance of CPR

African Americans become proactive in heart health post-pandemic.

Read this impactful article in the Chicago Crusader

Health Equity in the Workplace

The American Heart Association’s CEO Roundtable is working to eliminate workplace inequities that harm the health and well-being of employees, businesses and communities. The Roundtable’s new report, developed by business leaders and health experts, provides actionable strategies and principles employers can use to build toward health equity.

group of diverse people in a work environment posing for photo while smiling

Watch EmPOWERED to Serve in Action

Videos that reflect the powerful impact EmPOWERED to Serve has in the community.

Stories that transform the world in which we live.