EMPOWER Scholarships

The EMPOWER (Encourage Minority Participation in Occupations with Emphasis on Rehabilitation) Scholarship, administered by the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute encourages and supports ethnically diverse students who are pursuing a career in a medical or rehabilitation field.

The scholarship is made possible by a generous gift from the David M. Hersey Endowment Fund of the Allina Health Foundation.

Applicants must identify how they will use their education and training and demonstrate their interest in rehabilitation. Selection is based on the applicant’s stated intentions, past achievements, need and graduation ranking.  


2024 EMPOWER scholarship winners

Congratulations to Ayaantuu Usman and Jasmine Walters, the 2024 EMPOWER Scholarship recipients.

Ayaantuu Usman

Ayaantuu Usman has completed her undergraduate degree receiving numerous academic and extracurricular awards. She was a consistent standing member of the dean’s list, showing her dedication to her education. Currently, Ayaantuu is enrolled at the University of Minnesota Medical school. She aspires to serve the underserved and underrepresented patient populations by educating herself on their unique experiences and values to become a culturally competent physician dedicated to providing proper care. She believes in giving back to the community and has volunteered in a variety of healthcare settings, which has confirmed her passion to pursue a career in healthcare. Receiving the scholarship will help her expand her personal growth and assist her pursuit to make a lasting impact on the medical community.

Jasmine Walters
Jasmine Walters is attending Concordia University, St. Paul working to earn her nursing degree. She states she will use her nursing degree to embark on a career in pediatric care, with a goal to focus on developmental and physical disabilities in children. Her healthcare volunteer work at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, YMCA community service work and a service trip to Guatemala, has taught her the importance of compassionate care. Safe, supportive, culturally focused care is essential for all individuals. She has learned through her own experiences as well the importance of a therapeutic environment to help make a lasting impact. Receiving the scholarship will help her focus on her studies with less burden.