Mesan earns scholarship for medical school in Hawaii - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Mesan earns scholarship for medical school in Hawaii

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Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2014 12:00 pm

A young ASU graduate is headed off to medical school in Hawaii, thanks to a scholarship from the United Health Foundation.

Danelle Cooper grew up in Mesa and spent time on the Hopi reservation. After graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in global health, she applied through the American Indian College Fund (AICF) for assistance gaining acceptance to medical school.

Cooper is headed to University of Hawaii to study public health at the graduate level, after which she said she may go on to train as a physician’s assistant or work toward a doctorate in public health.

“My goals are to help my tribe and other tribes in the U.S. and I would really like to work with other indigenous people in other countries in the future,” Cooper said.

The United Health Foundation Diverse Scholars Initiative awards millions of dollars in scholarships each year through partnerships with organizations like the AICF. Cooper was one of 18 students to receive a part of $100,000 in scholarships through the initiative.

“We are proud of the achievements of our scholarship recipients, who have shown not only academic excellence, but the desire to work with their communities to provide better lives for the people they will serve as they embark upon careers in health care,” said Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, in a statement last month.

Cooper expressed her gratitude to the foundation, noting that the application process was both intense and expensive, and she was glad to have had help.

“We are thrilled to have Danelle Cooper as one of our Diverse Scholars. She is full of compassion and commitment, an incredibly bright student with an even brighter future,” said Kate Rubin, president of the United Health Foundation. “We are delighted to be able to help her achieve her dreams of working in public health with Native Americans here in the U.S. and indigenous people around the world. Danelle represents the future of health care, and I’d say our future is bright indeed.”

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