CLEVELAND, Oct. 18, 2023 – Case Western Reserve University student Elizabeth Onyekwere is one of 10 students in the country selected to participate in the EmPOWERED Scholars program from the American Heart Association, a global force for longer, healthier lives. As an EmPOWERED Scholar, Onyekwere will receive a $5,000 scholarship.

Through her personal experiences, Onyekwere, a sophomore nutrition major, understands the importance of recognizing and combating cardiac health disparities through wellness. As a student-athlete and peer health educator, she promotes various health and counseling services on campus to destigmatize wellness. She also advocates for sexual education and mental health resources, creating initiatives to support the well-being of her peers. She conducts nutrition research that targets vulnerable populations to enhance their health outcomes through clinical advancements and interventions. Onyekwere wants to go into medicine to continue educating, supporting and inspiring others to improve their cardiac health and well-being.

“To be one of only ten scholars recognized in 2023 is a tremendous achievement and we congratulate Elizabeth for being named an EmPOWERED Scholar this year,” said Valerie Hillow Gates, executive director for the American Heart Association, Cleveland. “We know this will be a great source of pride for Elizabeth’s family, friends and school, and we welcome her into the American Heart Association family in Cleveland.”

The American Heart Association’s EmPOWERED Scholars program awards scholarships to enrolled undergraduate students who volunteer in their communities and give their time to community-based organizations, student-led organizations and other groups that address food insecurity, safe housing, job opportunities, access to health care and other conditions that can result in health disparities. Applicants had to meet enrollment and GPA guidelines and submit an essay.

In addition to receiving a scholarship, scholars become part of the EmPOWERED to Serve™ network of ambassadors and alumni who support the Association’s mission.

Nationally, 39 scholars representing more than 20 different colleges and universities have benefited from the EmPOWERED Scholars program to date. For more information about this and other scholarship programs, visit


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. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For Media Inquiries:
Jordan Van Dootingh, Director of Communications