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Six Tennessee Students Each Receive $10,000 BlueCross Power of We Scholarships

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation recognizes outstanding minority students pursuing health care careers

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation has selected six students as recipients of its 2021 BlueCross Power of We Scholarships. Since 2013, the BlueCross Foundation has awarded the scholarship to help address health disparities minority groups face by increasing representation in Tennessee’s health care workforce. Each of this year’s recipients will receive $10,000 toward school tuition.

The scholarship is part of the company’s larger commitment to address systemic racism and injustice within Tennessee communities.

“The BlueCross Power of We Scholarship is one way we’ve been working toward health equity,” says Ron Harris, vice president of corporate workforce diversity at BlueCross. “We are proud to support some of our state’s brightest students, and we hope they will use their unique insights and experiences to help deliver high-quality care for all Tennesseans.”

This year’s recipients are:

Nesma Abdelnabi – Knoxville

Senior, Nursing Major

University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Veronica Bernaba – Nashville

Senior, Nursing Major

Belmont University


Soriya Cooper – Knoxville

Junior, Humanitarian I/O Psychology Major

University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Sierra Cruz – Murfreesboro

Junior, Biology and Psychology Major

Middle Tennessee State University


Miko McDowell – Drummonds  

Senior, Nursing Major

University of Memphis


Mya Morrow – Memphis

Senior, Nursing Major

University of Memphis, Lambuth


In lieu of the BlueCross Foundation’s annual event celebrating the winners, which was canceled due to COVID-19, each recipient received a gift package for the upcoming school year, including a MacBook, Bose headphones and a Fitbit.

The Power of We Scholarship is one of several education programs supported by the BlueCross Foundation:

  • $1 million investment in the HCS EdConnect initiative in Hamilton County, which provided no-cost internet access to underserved students on free and reduced lunch, ensuring they could participate in virtual learning opportunities during the pandemic
  • $500,000 to establish the BlueCross Technology Academies at Soddy Daisy and Red Bank High Schools in Chattanooga
  • $500,000 provided over three years to STEP-UP Chattanooga to offer internships and job readiness training for students

The BlueCross Foundation will begin accepting applications for 2022 BlueCross Power of We Scholarships this fall. To date, the foundation has awarded $285,000 in scholarships to 33 students.

For the full stories on this year’s BlueCross Power of We Scholars, visit


About BlueCross®
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is a taxpaying, not-for-profit health plan serving more than 3.4 million members in Tennessee and around the country. The Chattanooga-based company was founded in 1945 and has brought peace of mind to its members and local communities for more than 75 years. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s news center at

About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation, Inc.

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee 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 provides funding for the BlueCross Healthy Place program, which creates active, healthy spaces across Tennessee.

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