Health Foundation funds will support awards for minority accounting students
CHATTANOOGA — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee leaders recently gathered at Chattanooga State Community College to meet the first recipient of a new grant aimed at improving diversity in the financial services workforce.
Accounting major Tanique Harden welcomed the chance to thank the BlueCross team in person.
“I was so excited to find out I’d been selected for the scholarship,” said Tanique. “It was a significant help to me and lifted some of the weight off my shoulders as I’m working toward my degree.”
The moment on Friday represented the culmination of efforts that began years ago, when BlueCross finance department leaders met with other company executives to brainstorm ways to develop and support a diverse ‘talent pipeline’.
“We knew how important it was to build a workforce representative of the varied population our profession serves,” said Dennis Culver, vice president and chief audit executive.
With the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, the team established a fund for minority college students seeking an accounting degree. After securing $28,000 for an endowment, the team approached Chattanooga State with an offer to create a $500-per-semester scholarship.
The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Minority Accounting Scholarship was officially established in July 2016. The Chattanooga State Scholarship Selection Committee chooses the recipient, and promotes and encourages current and prospective students to apply for scholarship each year with the help of faculty, deans and department heads, and the Financial Aid & Recruiting offices.
Because grants and other financial aid often cover tuition, the team decided to structure the scholarship in a way that would make it usable for travel to campus, books and other needs.
“We are excited to see what the future holds for the recipients of this scholarship in the years to come,” said John Giblin, BlueCross chief financial officer. “It was a pleasure to meet Tanique and hear firsthand how our scholarship has helped in her pursuit of an accounting degree – we wish her every success.”
About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc.
The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc. was established in December, 2003 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. The foundation awards grants focused on high-impact initiatives across the state, which promote healthy lifestyle choices and help control health care costs for all Tennessee residents. Working with civic and economic partners, the foundation is dedicated to the support of research, innovative programs and creative approaches to improve the health and quality of life of Tennesseans for generations to come.