The Congressman John Lewis Equality Memorial Scholarship Brings Opportunity and Diversity to the Medical Field

There’s no denying medical school is expensive. At Xavier University School of Medicine (XUSOM), part of our mission is to make quality medical education more affordable. One of the ways we accomplish this is through several scholarship opportunities we offer to students from all walks of life.

Last summer, XUSOM created the Congressman John Lewis Equality Memorial Scholarship in memory of the late civil rights activist to help promote diversity in the medical field by providing financial assistance to underrepresented minority students. “Diversity is an important part of who we are as a university,” said Ravi Bhooplapur, President of Xavier University School of Medicine. “The Congressman John Lewis Equality Memorial Scholarship represents our commitment to diversity and equality—both on campus and in the medical community.”

Honoring the memory of John Lewis

John Lewis represented the state of Georgia as a U.S. congressman in the House of Representatives from 1987 until his death in 2020. His legacy as a leader in the civil rights movement and champion of equality and justice will live on through this scholarship for generations to come. “We are honored to recognize the legacy of such a great man with the Congressman John Lewis Equality Memorial Scholarship,” said Bhooplapur. “We are proud to promote diversity in medicine in his name, and we look forward to providing access to a quality medical education to many deserving students.”

About the scholarship

The Congressman John Lewis Equality Memorial Scholarship is the second largest scholarship among the 11 scholarships that XUSOM offers. The total amount of the scholarship is $60,000 that is broken down across the basic science and clinical science semesters.

Eligibility requirements, all of which must be met by each candidate, are:

  • Citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Classified as an under-represented minority (African American, Native American or Hispanic-American)

In addition to meeting the standard criteria for all scholarships at XUSOM, applicants must submit a video, where they will explain their visions of how they intend to further John Lewis’ legacy of fighting inequality in their professional and personal lives.

First Xavier student to receive the John Lewis Scholarship

Last year, Michelle Mawere, a first-year Xavier medical student, was awarded the Congressman John Lewis Equality Memorial Scholarship. Her winning application video discussed the many ways in which she, as a doctor, would provide opportunities to minorities in the medical field. She shared her vision of starting a foundation that would offer resources to underserved populations to help them pay for college, educational programming or other expenses that could otherwise hinder them from pursuing their dreams. “I’m honored to be the recipient of this prestigious scholarship,” Mawere said. “Congressman Lewis was a beacon of hope for the civil rights movement. Having the opportunity to pursue my dream in his memory is the greatest privilege I could ask for.”

Are you passionate about becoming a doctor? XUSOM provides a variety of scholarships and financial aid options that can bring you one step closer towards achieving your dreams. Apply today.