Kidist Kika, who graduated this year from Richfield High School and is studying pharmacy at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, is one of two 2017 EMPOWER Scholarship recipients. EMPOWER scholarships support ethnically diverse students to pursue medical or rehabilitation careers.
Kika’s family immigrated to the United States from Ethiopia when she was eight. She spoke no English yet learned to read at her grade level that school year. She stayed on the honor roll from ninth grade on and was a three-year member of the National Honor Society.
She has volunteered at ARC Value Village, her church, the Richfield Art Commission and Heritage of Edina senior living community. Her work with Student Today Leaders Forever included travels across the Midwest to help the homeless and inspired her to seek out a career in clinical pharmacy.
“I have seen many examples of her talent and have long been impressed by her diligence and work ethic,” said Dr. Nikki Schiffler, English Department chair, Richfield High School. “We were very impressed in how much Kidist has accomplished.”
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute is able to provide the EMPOWER Scholarships because of a gift from the Courage Kenny Foundation’s David M. Hersey Endowment Fund. EMPOWER is an acronym for Encourage Minority Participation in Occupations with Emphasis on Rehabilitation.
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation
Institute, part of Allina Health, was created in 2013 by the merger of Courage
Center and Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute. The Institute
provides a continuum of rehabilitation services for people with short- and
long-term conditions, injuries and disabilities in communities throughout
Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute has
multiple locations, and numerous
programs and services. For more information visit