American Heart Association launches new STEM program

Carol Barr Scholarships, EKU support, STEM-focused events to be offered to Kentucky students

RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – The American Heart Association launched Monday a new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program for female students in parts of Central and Eastern Kentucky.

“As cardiovascular disease continues to be the number one killer of women, ensuring more women are at the forefront of developing science, technology, engineering, and math solutions has never been more imperative,” Andrea Ooten, AHA Executive Director, said. “STEM is our future and as a science-based health non-profit, STEM is at the heart of who we are and what we do.”

The new program will feature a scholarship program open to female students in any of the 54 Kentucky Appalachian counties as designated by the Appalachian Regional Commission, and a series of STEM-related events known as STEM Goes Red. STEM Goes Red is designed to provide young girls with insights into the possibilities and potential they possess to make a real impact on the world around them through STEM.

“The Murry Foundation is excited to support the next generation of women and their contributions to science,” said Dr. Anne Murry with The Murry Foundation. “And as a dentist who came from a small Kentucky town, I am personally thrilled to be involved with this scholarship.”

The program is just one component of the fund that was established earlier this year in honor of Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr’s late wife — the Carol Barr Research & STEM Fund. The fund will also support valvular heart disease research.

“Carol was the best wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend anyone could ever have,” Barr said. “I am grateful for the American Heart Association’s commitment to raising funds in her honor to create a STEM scholarship program in her name so high school-aged women can pursue a career in a STEM field.”

As part of the program, three four-year, $10,000 scholarships and four one-year $2,500 scholarships will be awarded annually to female students who intend to pursue STEM careers. If those students attend Eastern Kentucky University, the university will provide free housing and books, university president David McFaddin announced during a press conference Monday morning in EKU’s new science building which will be home to a new STEM-centered program.

Scholarship applications are open now. Click here to apply.

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