GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Foundation awards scholarships to Duluth, Loganville residents

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Two area residents -- Kianna Monique Lawrence of Duluth and Sean Mario Walsh II of Loganville -- have each won a scholarship from the United Health Foundation's Diverse Scholars Initiative to pursue careers in health care.

The scholarships, averaging $5,000 per student, are awarded to black, American Indian, Asian-American, and Latino and Hispanic students who plan to pursue careers in health care.

Lawrence is an undergraduate at Voorhees College pursuing degrees in biology and nursing.

"After my traumatic experience with juvenile diabetes, I want to help educate the community with health issues," she said. "I am determined to make a better life for myself and pursue a career that I was meant to do."

Walsh is an honors student studying biology and English at Valdosta State University and plans a career in medicine.

"In my pursuit of becoming a physician, I plan to aid underprivileged communities seeking effective medical attention," he said.

The United Health Foundation is awarding more than 200 students from diverse, multicultural backgrounds a total of $1,225,000 in scholarships for the upcoming academic year. By cultivating health professionals from diverse, multicultural backgrounds, the Diverse Scholars Initiative is designed to increase culturally competent health care delivery, close the health care disparities gap and improve health outcomes over the long term.

Since 2007, the United Health Foundation has committed more than $3 million to the initiative for scholarships benefiting more than 585 students. Lawrence's scholarship will be administered through the Tom Joyner Foundation. Walsh's scholarship will be administered through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Buford resident earns university credit through Honors Symposium

This summer, Nicholas Smith of Buford, a high school junior, attended the Harding University Honors Symposium for a challenging two-week academic program.

Faculty and students come together each summer in the ancient Greek symposium style to share ideas and discuss relevant topics, such as international development, worldview, international relations, theater, missions, the Exodus and music.

"The purpose of the Honors Symposium is for faculty and students alike to sit around a mythological table and talk about important ideas that help shape who we are and what we want to be," said Jeff Hopper, dean of the Honors College and International Programs and director of Honors Symposium. "I am so pleased to work with gifted and curious university students, faculty and Symposium students."

During the event, students participate in lectures, discussion groups and interactive classes, as well as fun activities in the evening to allow them to form friendships with fellow juniors.

Students who successfully complete the program will earn three hours of transferable university credit.

Admission to the Symposium is treated on an individual basis, with special consideration given to grade point average, national standardized test scores and a reference letter.

Since the program's creation in 1993, the number of participants has grown from 42 to 200, and, for the past five years, it has hosted students from 40 states and six foreign countries.