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2023 EmPOWERED Scholars

In 2023, ten Empowered Scholars were each awarded $5000 in financial aid, providing an opportunity for them to serve as change agents to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities in under-resourced communities.

Ashleigh Johnson

2023 EmPOWERED Scholar: Ashleigh Johnson

Howard University

Ashleigh Michelle Johnson is a sophomore majoring in biology with a pre-med focus, complemented by double minors in chemistry and Afro-American studies. Her aspirations include attending medical school and becoming a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon. She also advocates against food insecurity in southern states, bridging social justice and science.

Generously supported by Becton, Dickinson

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Chimdindu Okafor

2023 EmPOWERED Scholar: Chimdindu Okafor

Health Management
Howard University

Chimdindu is a sophomore Health Management major at Howard University, from Newark, NJ. She is a researcher, abolitionist, and youth community organizer for all things social justice, ranging from educational equity to health justice/reform and everything in between. She currently sits on The Justice + Joy National Collective: New Jersey Justice Collaborative for Girls’ Youth Advisory Board and has done ample social justice work with organizations like Girls for Gender Equity, Sadie Nash Leadership Project, and Butterfly Dreamz. She loves to write, often piecing together Black political theory, folklore, and lived experiences to produce multidimensional cultural pieces of expression. With peaking interests in the intersection between healthcare, technology, and social access to resources, she hopes to take on executive roles to aid in health phenomena, like the alarming maternal mortality rates for Black women across America.

Generously supported by Becton, Dickinson

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Elizabeth Onyekwere

2023 EmPOWERED Scholar: Elizabeth Onyekwere

Case Western

Through her personal experiences, Elizabeth Onyekwere, a sophomore nutrition major, understands the importance of recognizing and combating cardiac health disparities through wellness. As a student-athlete and peer health educator, she promotes various health and counseling services on campus to destigmatize wellness. She also advocates for sexual education and mental health resources, creating initiatives to support the well-being of her peers. She conducts nutrition research that targets vulnerable populations to enhance their health outcomes through clinical advancements and interventions. Elizabeth wants to go into medicine to continue educating, supporting and inspiring others to improve their cardiac health and well-being.

Generously supported by Woman’s Heart Coalition

Jonathan Jean Charles

2023 EmPOWERED Scholar: Jonathan Jean Charles

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
University of Miami

Jonathan Jean Charles is a Haitian American student at the University of Miami (UM). He believes in the importance of providing all people with high-quality, patient-centered health care. At UM, Jonathan served as a COPE Peer Educator to raise awareness of mental health topics (e.g., suicide prevention, body image and depression) and promote emotional well-being among undergraduate students. Jonathan is the health chair for the NAACP at UM.

Kristi Juarez

2023 EmPOWERED Scholar: Kristi Juarez

Washington State

Kristi Juarez is a first-generation Latina majoring in pre-nursing at Washington State University. She is active in a leadership program and a nursing internship. She says her parents have inspired her to break norms by representing and advocating for her culture in the health care industry. Kristi’s goal is to make health care more inclusive and be a voice for unrepresented communities.

Generously supported by Wendy Zheng

Lily Kasic

2023 EmPOWERED Scholar: Lily Kasic

Business Administration
University of Washington

Lily Kasic is studying business administration at the University of Washington Michael G. Foster School of Business. She grew up in Denver, Colorado where her love of networking, brainstorming and collaborating with others inspired her to pursue opportunities within the nonprofit sphere. Lily has volunteered for many events, including when she led a Teen of Impact fundraising campaign that raised over $24,000. Lily is also passionate about astronomy, rock music and art.

Generously supported by Wendy Zheng

Nevora Ramsey

2023 EmPOWERED Scholar: Nevora Ramsey

Morgan State University

Nevora Ramsey is a certified nursing assistant with CPR training in basic life support. Her future path is focused on working in pediatrics as a nurse practitioner and business owner. “College is a stepping stool to help me continue the momentum I have built within the health care field to obtain my dream career,” she said.

Generously supported by Becton, Dickinson

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Sebastian Caicedo

2023 EmPOWERED Scholar: Sebastian Caicedo

Health Science
Northeastern University

Sebastian Caicedo is passionate about the intersection between wellness and social justice. He regularly delivers presentations on how bystander intervention can help prevent sexual violence against students. Sebastian also serves as an Empower Fellow, heightening the visibility of students of color experiences on campus. He has also volunteered at a local organization where he packaged and prepared medically tailored meals for those experiencing chronic conditions and food insecurity.

Shreya Shivakumar

2023 EmPOWERED Scholar: Shreya Shivakumar

Political Science
Barnard College

Shreya Shivakumar is majoring in political science and minoring in science and public policy on the pre-law track at Barnard College of Columbia University. Her experiences as a first-generation American immigrant and as a volunteer at her local food pantry fueled her passion for promoting equal access to healthy and fresh foods in under-resourced communities. In 2018, Shreya founded Nourish America, a national nonprofit organization providing organic, healthy and allergy-friendly foods to families. Nourish America has partnered with food banks in three U.S. states and has raised over $15,000 to support the fight against nationwide food insecurity.

Tajhea Campbell

2023 EmPOWERED Scholar: Tajhea Campbell

Howard University

Tajhea Campbell, who is from the Bronx, New York, is a sophomore at Howard University majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. After graduating from Howard, she plans to go to medical school and become an OB/GYN.

Generously supported by Becton, Dickinson

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collage of EmPOWERED Scholars alumni

EmPOWERED Scholars Alumni

Making a difference and impacting the future of their communities.

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Becton, Dickinson and Company is proud to support the American Heart Association’s EmPOWERED to Serve Scholars Program.