$100,000 in scholarships to be awarded to students with disabilities

The Longmore Institute on Disability established a new scholarship for students with disabilities who want to pursue healthcare careers

March 15, 2022

SF State’s Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability is awarding $100,000 in Anthem Blue Cross scholarships to students with disabilities who want to pursue a career in healthcare. 

The Longmore Institute scholarship is open to any SF State student who identifies as having a disability and has a genuine interest and dedication to a future in a healthcare profession. The scholarship will directly support education-related expenses for students as they pursue a career in healthcare. Students interested in a variety of  healthcare fields — health practitioner, health justice and equity — are all welcome to apply. 

Both undergraduate and graduate students of any major can apply as long as they have at least a 3.0 GPA. 

Scholarship recipients must be willing to commit to three meetings per semester with the Longmore Institute on Disability. These meetings will consist of a reading group on disability and healthcare with the Longmore Student Fellows and other scholarship recipients. 

The Longmore Institute is looking for applicants who are serious about healthcare as a future career, according to Longmore Institute Associate Director Emily Smith Beitiks. 

“What will set the successful applicants apart is their ability to convince us that they are really committed to health justice and show a very clear career trajectory that is already in place,” Beitiks said. 

The institute is a research service organization at SF State that works to connect the campus with the outside disability community. They are invested in sharing disability history and theory through public education and cultural events. 

Their main focus is on broadening the understanding of disability and celebrating what disability brings to the world. 

Katie Sellergren, a Longmore Fellow and person with a disability, said having scholarships that offer students with disabilities support in pursuing healthcare careers in healthcare will help eliminate the disparity of people with disabilities in the medical field. 

“Disabled people are chronically unemployed and underemployed, so when you think about someone pursuing healthcare, they won’t be saddled with student debt,” Sellergren said. “It’s so important that we have more disabled people going into healthcare because the medical industrial complex really falls short.” 

The medical industrial complex is the network of healthcare companies that provide resources for a profit.

The Longmore Institute scholarship is just one initiative Anthem Blue Cross has made to help close health disparity gaps in California. Anthem Blue Cross is dedicated to creating a surplus of opportunities for people with disabilities in healthcare to support representation across the healthcare realm, said Anthem Blue Cross Inclusive Policy and Advocacy Regional Vice President Merrill Friedman. 

“We want people with disabilities to see people with disabilities in healthcare and leadership roles,” Friedman said. “This helps to reduce disparities and increase the cultural competency across healthcare based on lived and personal experience.” 

The Longmore Institute is currently accepting applications through SF State’s AcademicWorks website until April 22, but are encouraging students to apply early. If selected for the scholarship, an award amount will be determined based on individual need. 

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Sarah Bruno, Staff Reporter

Sarah Bruno is a senior at SF State who will be graduating in December 2022. She is a Print and Online Journalism major with a Literature in English minor....

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