to Serve™

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

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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.

"Nation of Lifesavers American Heart Association" encircles a graphic with white line art of hands in CPR formation on top of red, gold and green horizontal stripes

Empowered to Serve Celebrates Black History Month and Heart Month

This February, Black History Month serves as a poignant backdrop for the Nation of Lifesavers campaign, aligning the principles of empowerment, community engagement, and health equity. As we celebrate the rich heritage and resilience of Black Americans, the AHA recognizes the importance of fostering education, legacy and literacy of health through the Empowered to Serve platform and AHA Scholars.

Impact in the Heart of the Community

The 2024 Impact With Heart celebrated community trailblazers at the 2nd annual awards ceremony that recognizes changemakers committed to achieving equitable health for all.

The American Heart Association salutes this year’s awardees, Andrew Suggs, Damar Hamlin, and Ashley Williams for the advances made possible through their entrepreneurship and voices.

From left to right: Damar Hamlin, Ashley Williams and Andrew Suggs holding their Impact With Heart awards in front of a step and repeat background.
Damar Hamlin, Ashley Williams and Andrew Suggs (Wjj Photography)
A Baltimore Delta Sigma Theta sorority member is practicing chest compressions on a CPR dummy inside a retail store.

Did you know that Black Americans who have a cardiac incident are less likely to receive CPR from a bystander?

The Baltimore City Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is on a mission to make a change by supporting the American Heart Association. The sorority hosted a heart health fair to train individuals over age 9 how to perform Hands-Only CPR. The Association is grateful to this tremendous organization for its support during American Heart Month and Black History Month.

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

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

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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.

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.