Alana Barr, a student of Jamaican descent at Georgia Tech, has received a 2020 “EMPOWERED to Serve” scholarship from the American Heart Association. The “EMPOWERED to Serve” scholarships are designed to produce the next generation of leaders in the areas of health equity and social justice. The scholars are considered “agents of change” in their communities. The scholarship provides $10,000 to each recipient to help them realize their visionary ideas and to ensure that everyone has the chance to be healthy.
During her freshman year, Barr founded the Junior Healthy Heart Coalition, which was created to help in connecting her fellow students with community service projects and opportunities to volunteer their time. Barr has also joined with the 4-H organization to mentor and encourage young people in Atlanta, Georgia, to develop leadership skills and discover more about the world they live in. Through the Junior Healthy Heart Coalition, Barr has worked with the Morehouse School of Medicine, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Trinity AME Church, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for the promotion of healthy lifestyles and to address issues of food insecurity and homelessness, among other critical social matters in the Atlanta region. Additionally,
Barr has performed more than 70 hours of volunteer work to MedShare, an organization that seeks to provide surplus medical supplies to developing nations. Barr had an internship with the Atlanta City Council and worked to improve public health efforts through the introduction of legislation. Barr also serves as director of local projects at the Foundation of Medical Relief for Children at Georgia Tech. Her responsibilities include coordinating volunteer opportunities for the Foundation’s members.
In 2018, Barr, who graduated from Whitewater High School in Fayette County, Georgia, received a Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship, which allowed her to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology to major in biochemistry. Barr was employed by the Fayetteville Towne Center’s Chick-fil-A restaurant at the time. Barr’s achievements and activities during her high school years included memberships in the National English Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, and the National Beta Club. She placed third in the state of Georgia in Extemporaneous Writing in 2018 as a member of the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA). Barr also plays eight musical instruments and was a member of a chamber orchestra. She has a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Commenting on the EMPOWERED scholarship award, Barr said it will help her improve connections with her community as well as to focus her passion for giving back to others. She also said the scholarship would allow her to continue her efforts toward “empowering change through engagement.”
Source: American Heart Association “EmPOWERED to Serve” Scholarship