The University of New Orleans (UNO) has been awarded a $240,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation to establish the UNO First-Generation Pathways to Healthcare Program. The program aims to assist first-generation students who are interested in pursuing careers in healthcare by providing financial support, mentoring, and access to resources.
One of the main goals of the program is to create a diverse pool of medical professionals who come from various backgrounds. This will help ensure that healthcare fields are filled with individuals who can effectively meet the needs of a diverse patient population. The program will specifically target three areas that often hinder academic success for first-generation students: financial burdens, lack of support, and inequitable access to resources.
Through the program, students will receive $4,000 scholarships annually, primarily funded through newly established endowed scholarships. In addition to financial assistance, students will have access to a range of resources, such as undergraduate research opportunities, interactions with healthcare professionals, preparation for entrance exams and professional school interviews, financial support for graduate school applications, and assistance in finding apprenticeships and internships with healthcare partners of UNO.
The College of Sciences at UNO has established strong relationships with healthcare organizations and leaders at both the regional and national levels. The college has a successful track record of placing graduates in various healthcare fields. In the spring of 2024, the program will begin notifying eligible freshmen about the opportunity to apply during their sophomore year.
This initiative will not only provide much-needed support to first-generation students interested in healthcare careers, but it will also contribute to creating a more inclusive and diverse healthcare workforce. The mentoring network and resources provided through this program will equip students with the tools they need to thrive in their chosen fields.
– University of New Orleans
– Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation