LEXINGTON, KY, May 11, 2023 - The American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, is proud to announce the winners of its 2023 Eastern Kentucky STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Goes Red scholarships. Three $10,000 scholarships, which were made possible by the Murry Foundation and are renewable for up to four years, were awarded.

This year’s recipients are Ashten Elizabeth Wall, Ella Brooke Bussell and Emily Brooke Neal. They were honored during a reception on May 8.

The American Heart Association in Central and Eastern Kentucky created the scholarship program in honor of Carol Barr, the late wife of Congressman Andy Barr, with the goal of bridging the gap between Eastern Kentucky students' interest in pursuing a career in a STEM field and achieving their dreams. Carol lost her life in 2020 due to complications from mitral valve prolapse, a heart valve disease that affects the valve between the left heart chambers.

“I’m confident that these students are going to take advantage of the opportunities these scholarships provide to one day find better treatments, better interventions for valvular heart disease and cardiovascular disease, and even mitral valve prolapse,” U.S. Rep. Andy Barr said. “And one day, maybe we can prevent these tragedies from happening to other people.”

About the 2023 Scholarship Recipients
Ashten Elizabeth Wall
is a senior at Russell County High School. She plans to study at the University of Kentucky to pursue a major in neuroscience. “I have a clear hope and vision for my future,” Wall said. “My interest in STEM comes from one place ­– my mother. She is my biggest role model. Her life and example as she navigates the world of Parkinson’s disease has helped form my dream to be the kind of doctor who helps my patients and their families find peace in their situation.”

Ella Brooke Bussell is a junior at Rockcastle County High School. After graduation, she plans to study chemistry in computing. “I have found my calling in STEM,” Bussell said. “My chemistry in computing degree will help me achieve my goal of coming back home to serve my community of Rockcastle County. And as I embark on my next steps in my life journey, I will always keep Carol Barr’s legacy by my side.”

Emily Brooke Neal is a senior at Lawrence County High School. She plans to attend the University of Pikeville and major in biomedical sciences and biology. “I watched both my parents overdose when I was only 4 years old,” Neal said. “I watched my grandfather battle stage 3 lung cancer. I tore my ACL twice, taking away my opportunity to play basketball for my school. These things helped make me the woman I am today and have made me focused, resilient and determined. I plan to double-major in biomedical science and biology so I can go to medical school to become a radiologist.”  

All female high school students who live in any of the 54 Eastern Kentucky counties served by Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) planning to pursue a degree in a STEM-related field were eligible to apply. For more information, visit heart.org/lexington.


About The American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. 

For Media Inquiries:
Afton Fairchild; afton.fairchild@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and stroke.org