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Healthy Communities Scholarship Award Winners

Having received many impressive applications from students around the country, we are happy to announce the recognition of outstanding young men and women who demonstrate the importance of hard work and perseverance and who stand as an inspiration for sustainable and local health initiatives in their communities.

2023 Winner: Ariel Salguedo

My name is Ariel Salguedo, I am a mother, wife, & student. I’m from Providence, RI where I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Health Care Administration from Rhode Island College. I currently attend Johnson & Wales University where I am studying to earn my Masters’s Degree in Business Administration.

Thank you for choosing me to be the recipient of the 2023 Health Communities Scholarship. I can not express how much this truly helps me in achieving my dreams of earning my degree. As a young mother, I jumped into my education knowing that I could not fail so I thank you for making this journey a little easier for me.



2022 Winner: Lana Aldos

Lana Feras Aldos is a current MSPH candidate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Lana uses her education and her background as a former Syrian refugee to shed light on refugee health struggles and the need for international attention on the health of refugees and internally displaced peoples. During her time as an undergraduate student at Cornell University, Lana was the president of Cornell Welcomes Refugees, a student-led organization supporting refugee resettlement initiatives in the local Ithaca region. Lana’s academic interests lead her to research the various healthcare access barriers experienced by Syrian refugees in Jordan. Her research highlights first-person narratives as an important indicator of refugee health needs and personal struggles. Lana is currently studying public health preparedness, human rights and humanitarian emergencies, and the impact of war and displacement on health. 

Lana’s continued research initiatives on refugees informs her work as the founder and president of NewBeginning Foundation, a recent non-profit organization that aims at spreading awareness of refugee health struggles, and fundraises to cover the treatment costs of refugees and internally displaced peoples. Lana is also a current AmeriCorps Fellow at the Maryland Department of Health Office for Minorities and Health Disparities. Her fellowship at the department of health focuses on promoting vaccine equity and reducing health disparities using evidence-based practices.  

Reaction Statement:

I’m honored to have been chosen as this year’s Healthy Communities scholarship recipient! Thank you so much for supporting my education and future endeavors to ensure refugees and immigrants have access to health services in their host countries, and to build sustainable and healthy communities! This scholarship will go towards financing my graduate education and will provide me with the time to focus on my non-profit organization to support the health of refugees and immigrants. With your encouragement and support, I will pay it forward! 



2021 Winner: Isabella Radican

Isabella RadicanHi! My name is Isabella Radican, but most people call me Bella. I am from Leesburg, Virginia, and in 2020, I graduated from Riverside High School. While at Riverside, I was an active member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Tri-M Music National Honor Society, Varsity Club, and a 4-year starter on the Varsity Softball Team. At the beginning of my senior year, I committed to play Division 1 Softball at Bucknell University. Softball has always been a huge part of my life, and I am excited to continue to play it at the highest level. A fun fact about me is that when I was 17, I was invited to and went to play softball overseas in the Netherlands.

I originally planned to attend college in the fall of 2020, however, with all the uncertainty the Coronavirus pandemic brought on the school year, I decided to take a gap year. The decision to take a gap year was a great one for many reasons, but one reason in particular is that it gave me the opportunity to continue to impact those in my community in a positive and healthy way. Throughout high school, I dedicated a great deal of time to serving my community from working with Special Olympics Basketball, to playing piano and guitar for the residents at my local assisted living home, to tutoring the students at my previous elementary, middle, and high schools, and volunteering with Mobile Hope, a local outreach program that assists homeless children in my county. During my gap year, I was able to devote an even greater amount of time to serving my community and helping to make it a better place for all who live in it. I became even more involved with Mobile Hope and was able to spend time growing the game of softball in my local area through running my own clinics, lessons, and even coaching a 12u local travel team. Sports play such an instrumental role in our lives for many reasons, and to be able to share my passion for softball with other young girls, has truly been an amazing experience.

At Bucknell, I will be double majoring in Political Science and Economics, and after graduation, I plan to attend law school. I hope to continue helping others and bettering my community in the future as I strive to become both a lawyer, and then later, a member of the US Congress.

In her own words: “Thank you so much for choosing me as your 2021 recipient of the Healthy Communities Scholarship! I am so grateful to receive this award, as it will be a huge aid in helping me reach my educational goals, as I move forward with continuing to create healthy and meaningful change in my community and everywhere else I go.”

2018 Winner: Aiden Stephan

Scholarship winner Aiden StephanMy name is Aiden Stephan. I am seventeen years old and I live on the Southern Oregon Coast in Port Orford. I have been home-schooled all my life, and I love engineering, design, music, and outdoor activities. I enjoy seeking out challenging opportunities that help me to improve in my leadership skills, physical training, public speaking, and public presentations, drill, survival skills, and emergency preparedness and in developing meaningful relationships with others. I strive to do my best in all I do and I find difficult challenges good for my personal and professional development.

I have been a member of the Oregon Wing Civil Air Patrol for over 2 ½ years. I have gained invaluable skills and experience during that time. As an NCO, I have led and mentored three younger cadets, I have participated actively in our weekly group meetings and drill exercises. I have taught the CAP Rocketry Course to our squadron, presented once a month at squadron meetings on aerospace and related activities and I have volunteered over 120 hours of community service. In Dec 2017, I served in the Cadet Cadre at the CAP Alaska-Oregon Joint Encampment in Anchorage, Alaska. This past summer, I served as the Cadet Commander at the Tillamook CAP Rocketry Encampment in Tillamook, Oregon. It is a long-term goal of mine to be a search and rescue pilot in the Oregon Wing Civil Air Patrol.

This year my family and I are building a new house and we are doing all the work ourselves. This is giving me a great opportunity to gain skills and knowledge about engineering, design, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and construction in general. Daily I engage in creative thinking and problem solving as my family and I work to make concepts and ideas manifest into concrete reality. For my scholarship application, I have submitted a solar outer window covering that I designed and engineered myself for my family’s new home that is included later in the application.

This last fall I started attending college at George Fox University and I am financing myself through college. I am majoring in Engineering and minoring in Music. I play five instruments, perform in two local music groups and choir and I enjoy writing my own music. I have discovered that music is a language that bridges all cultural and communication gaps and can unite people to share in a common joy with one another. Last fall, I completed a six-week exchange to Japan, where I lived with a host family, attended the local high school and toured highlights of the country. I took my violin with me and over and over I discovered that regardless of age, race or language, music opened up people’s hearts and brought smiles to everyone’s faces. Music has always been a part of my life. I aspire to share my love of music with others be it through community music, music therapy, musical instruction or in spiritual practice.

I hope to attend a semester abroad during my college experience and I plan to serve two years in the Peace Corp when I graduate, helping others in underserved areas of the world.

In his own words: “I was honored and pleased to be chosen as the recipient for the Healthy Communities Scholarship 2018. I am committed to health and well being and I believe that promoting and developing healthy communities is key to empowering individuals and businesses to facilitate positive change in our world. I am majoring in Engineering at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon and it is my goal to combine my love of and experience in origami with innovative engineering to design new products that can change lives. Thank you for supporting my education and for supporting healthy communities nationwide. Your time and efforts have been well invested in me and I will in turn share my skills and knowledge with others in my community to help empower each and every one of us to be that change that we want to see in the world.”

2017 Winner: Kristen Dupard

Kristen Dupard is a recent Magna Cum Laude graduate with a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She is a New Orleans, Louisiana, native. At Southern Miss, Kristen was a member of the Honors College, the Student Government Association, the Ronald E. McNair Scholarship Program, the Luckyday Citizenship Scholarship Foundation, the NSF Lewis Stokes Mississippi Alliance for Minority Participation Scholarship Program (IMAGE), and Who’s Who Amongst American Colleges and Universities. Kristen also co-founded the Empower the Vote, Save the Vote, voting initiative to increase voter registration amongst young people and was selected twice to be a part of former President Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative University. She was invited to attend the White Houses’ United State of Women Conference. In addition, she was crowned both Miss University of Southern Mississippi and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Miss Black and Gold for the District of Mississippi, inducted into her university’s hall of fame and received the Oselola McCarty community service ward. Dupard also studied human rights, politics, and religion abroad in France, Germany, and Switzerland. Most recently, Kristen completed an internship with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in the U.S. Senate and participated in the Columbia University Summer Public Health Scholars Program. Kristen will be attending law school this Fall where she plans to focus on Health Law.

In her Own Words: “I am so thankful and blessed that I was selected for this scholarship. Obtaining a legal education is a hefty financial investment and this scholarship will be of great support. I look forward to using the success of my future legal career to invest financially in the future of others. ”

2016 Winner: Kayla Hunter

Spelman College student Kayla Hunter is the 2016 winner of the Healthy Communities Scholarship.In 2016, Kayla Hunter, a senior at Spelman College, is the winner of the Healthy Communities Scholarship celebrating students connection to their communities and dedication to their education. Currently finishing her undergraduate degree, Kayla displays a commitment to environmental studies as she applies to programs for her Master’s of Planning/Public Health for the Fall of 2017.

Kayla’s aspires to receive her Master’s and PhD in Health Policy in order to conduct groundbreaking research in health disparities and policy and serves as a great example of how her dedication to her education will lead to groundbreaking accessible health research and programming, impacting the future of those around her.

Her determination to study public health and discover further why health disparities exist draws her to continue her education and service her community, acting as an influence to others. She dreams to be the voice of her community, inspiring others to focus on environmental justice and reduce health disparities, which will lead to healthier communities in the future for everyone.

Upon receiving this scholarship, she commented feeling more confident in completing her last year at Spelman, and as a scholar, social justice advocate, and future graduate student, she stated she has finally learned to not doubt her capability to succeed and achieve her dreams.


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