We recently announced the 2021 recipients of the BlueCross Power of We Scholarship, which recognizes outstanding students working to promote equity in the health care field.
This story is part of a series profiling each of this year’s six winners.
When it comes to health, a little bit of knowledge can save a life. For Mya Morrow, that simple truth is personal.
“When I was younger, my mom was very ill,” says Mya. “One day, she had a stroke while I was home. She didn’t realize that’s what was happening, but I knew the signs — what to expect, what to look for. I took her to the hospital, even though she didn’t want to go because she thought she was perfectly fine. But my having that knowledge made all the difference.”
Her grandmother suffered from kidney problems, so Mya learned everything she needed to know to care for her at a young age, from medications to how to change her linens. In that way, Mya was a care provider long before she decided to make it her life’s work.
My auntie, she’s a nurse as well,” says Mya. “Watching what she was doing and how she took her time caring for her mother and was so passionate about it — it really touched me. ”
Soon, Mya will officially follow in her aunt’s footsteps as a nurse. In May 2022, she’ll graduate from the University of Memphis with her bachelor of science in nursing, and she’ll become a registered nurse (RN). In the meantime, she’ll continue caring for her community in other ways.
“I’ve been volunteering for several years at A Step Ahead, which helps women prevent unplanned pregnancies,” says Mya. “We provide long-acting, reversible contraception to women who need it, which is so important. Women’s health is a passion of mine. Maternity, labor and delivery, OB, postpartum — I’m gravitating toward that area for my next steps because I love caring for mother and baby.”
Easing the financial stress
The idea of empowering women through every phase of life is powerful, says Mya. A Step Ahead did it for her with scholarships for school, and after three years, Mya understands why it’s time for them to offer that opportunity to another student. Still, she wasn’t sure how she’d make ends meet during her final year of school.
“Nursing school is not only expensive, but it’s also very challenging ,” she says. “It takes focus, and financial stress is a big disruption. In the summer, I work as a server to save up what I can, but it’s always hard.”
Today, Mya doesn’t worry about that, thanks to the BlueCross Power of We Scholarship.
“When I first found out that I received this scholarship, all I could do was cry!” she says. “I was so low under the weight of my financial needs, and I lost both grandparents on this journey, so it’s been pretty rough. But now I don’t have anything interfering with me focusing on my education. I’m 100% debt-free, and 100% stress-free, and I can pursue my education with a clear heart. I am so thankful to this scholarship and to God for that gift.”
In addition to financial freedom, the scholarship will give Mya something she’s come to value during her time at Lambuth: community.
“Thanks to the BlueCross Power of We Scholarship, I can move back to Jackson for my last year and stay in the dormitory halls,” she says. “It’s something that’s really important to me, especially after the last year of everyone being so disconnected.”
Expanding her horizons
Once she graduates, Mya plans to continue expanding her knowledge and her horizons.
“Once I graduate, I look forward to working in obstetrics, labor and delivery, and maternity,” she says. “Eventually, I hope to transition over to doing that as a travel nurse. I am in love with traveling, and the idea of getting to do that while caring for women is all that I’ve ever hoped for.”
Right now, Mya can’t wait to finish her journey on her own terms.
“If it wasn’t for God, I don’t believe I would be here today,” she says. “I’m really, really blessed and thankful that I got this opportunity to pursue my degree with less stress.”
About the BlueCross Power of We Scholarship
- Each year, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation awards $10,000 scholarships to minority students pursuing degrees in health care.
- Recipients are chosen in collaboration with the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) – Memphis Chapter.
- The goal of these scholarships is to help reduce health disparities by improving diversity in the state’s health care workforce and combating systemic racism and injustice.
- Since 2013, the foundation has awarded $285,000 to students leading the charge.
- This year, the BlueCross Foundation awarded 6 scholarships to students across the state.
For more information, see BCBSTnews.com/scholarship.