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Thomas Soldan Healthy Communities Scholarship Award Winners

Having received many impressive applications from students around the country, Thomas Soldan is happy to announce the recognition of outstanding young 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.

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. Similar to Attorney Thomas Soldan, 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 Thomas Soldan Healthy Communities Scholarship.In 2016, Kayla Hunter, a senior at Spelman College, is the winner of the Thomas Soldan 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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