Written by Robyn Caldwell, Programming Coordinator
The national transplant waiting list consists of 110,000 people. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, 54% of Americans are registered, while only 13% of African Americans are registered donors. Although transplants can be successful regardless of the race or ethnicity of the donor and recipient, the chance of longer-term survival may be greater if the donor and recipient are closely matched in terms of their shared genetic background.
SODA: Student Organ Donation Advocates wants to shorten the waiting list and close the gap between the number of African Americans waiting for a transplant and the number of African Americans who are organ donors. Because of the success of our existing 31 SODA chapters, we believe students are the key to reducing the wait.
SODA, in partnership with Hearts for Emma, Hearts for Russ, Laura Miller Memorial Fund, and Richie’s Spirit Foundation, wants to support student organ donation advocates at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and is pleased to offer scholarships to students at HBCUs who advocate for organ and tissue donation in their communities.
The HBCU Organ and Tissue Donation Advocacy Scholarship intends to reward students who have an interest in sharing the importance of organ and tissue donation with their family, peers, and community. An ideal candidate for this scholarship has a zest for making a difference and a passion for organ donation. All students who apply for this scholarship will be encouraged to become further involved with organ and tissue donation advocacy at their university. Apply for this scholarship here by June 15th, 2021.