EmPOWERED to Serve Scholars 

The next generation of health equity and social justice college students

What is the EmPOWERED Scholars Program?

Our mission is to be a relentless force for a world of healthier, longer lives, and we want your help as the next generation of social change leaders. 

That's why the American Heart Association’s EmPOWERED to Serve™ offers college scholarships to students who are passionate about public health, health equity and community engagement, especially those in marginalized communities who are less able to manage student debt.  

This year, through the EmPOWERED to Serve Scholars program, six students will be awarded $5,000 scholarships. These students will continue their higher education while working to achieve health equity in their communities. 

Learn more about the scholarship program.

Three empowered scholars

We're proud of our previous EmPOWERED to Serve Scholars, including:

Ngoc Vuong

Ngoc Vuong (2020 Scholar): Created Healing Kansas, a grassroots initiative addressing health equity issues through art, storytelling and civic engagement. The group produced Not Only You, a short film on the impact of addiction on families. Ngoc has been recognized by the Kansas Senate and was invited by the Kansas Prevention Collaborative to create a statewide, student-led health coalition.

Presley LeGrande

Presley LeGrande (2020 Scholar): Founded Team Gemini, the first competitive cheerleading team for athletes who are differently abled in the South Bay area. The team provides an outlet for kids who often lack access to youth sports. Routines are adapted for the different abilities of the team’s 16 athletes, who practice twice a week and participate in conditioning classes to improve their strength and coordination.

Sierra Williams-Mcleod

Sierra Williams-Mcleod (2020 Scholar): Co-found Hampton University’s Pirate Pantry, a student-led effort providing free food and hygiene products to students in need. Now, Sierra is partnering with the Virginia Food Bank to create a food pantry. HU Pirate Pantry improves the health of the community by reducing food waste, relieving hunger and promoting good nutrition.

2018 Scholars
American Heart Association Recognizes Students for Helping Improve Community Health

Inaugural 2018 competition awards $1,500 scholarships to six students

DALLAS, March 12, 2018 — The American Heart Association has awarded scholarships to six students for working to improve what are known as social determinants of health — the conditions in which people live and work that shape their health.


EmPOWERED to Serve Health Justice Roundtable

Join our EmPOWERED and Historically Black Colleges and Universities Scholars as they have a candid conversation on addressing racial and health justice, and share how you can be a changemaker in your community.