The Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges has been awarded $1 million to create a scholarship program to help develop a more diverse healthcare workforce.
Donated by non-profit healthcare firm Kaiser Permanente, the fund will provide financial assistance to African American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Native American, and LGBTQ people completing their education in healthcare fields. People with disabilities and US veterans seeking careers in healthcare may also be eligible for the scholarships.
“Education can be the great equalizer, but only if all students have the same chance at success. With the establishment of this scholarship fund, Kaiser Permanente has made it clear that investing in equitable opportunity for community college students is critical to not only their success, but our state’s success as well,” Colorado Community College System (CCCS) Chancellor Joe Garcia said.
“Now, our students with diverse perspectives and strengths will be able to achieve their goals and move into healthcare careers with fewer obstacles in their way,” he added.
In a press release, CCCS revealed that students will begin receiving Kaiser Permanente Equity Scholarships in Colorado in 2022. At least 28 scholarships are expected to be awarded each year over a span of 15 years.
Students enrolled in a health sciences degree program at any CCCS school are eligible to apply. However, preference will be given to students from underrepresented communities who are financially incapable of going to college.
“Inclusive economic growth is imperative to both individual and community health. Kaiser Permanente is proud to launch this scholarship fund in partnership with the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges to create a more equitable pipeline to health care practice,” Kaiser Permanente Regional President Mike Ramseier explained.
“By looking to the future and expanding access to education, we can model the way toward a health care system that reflects the diversity of our communities and prioritizes equal access to care,” he added.
‘Scholarships Change Entire Communities’
The Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges expressed its gratitude for being chosen by Kaiser Permanente for the scholarship.
Foundation Chairwoman Mary Spillane believes that community college education is necessary because it does not only change lives but entire communities.
“We are immensely grateful to Kaiser Permanente for its commitment to our students and their ability to reach their full potential. Through this scholarship fund, burdens will be eased and doors opened for the next generation of highly skilled, diverse health care workers,” Spillane stressed.