Uzoma Abakporo

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2014 Hawkinson Foundation Scholarship awarded to Uzoma Abakporo

Uzoma Abakporo participated in the Community Health Initiative (CHI) program during the Fall 2013 semester as a student consultant working with Sarah Mowdy of Rapp Chiropractic Clinic.  Uzoma also completed a 2014 summer internship with Shannon Fahey and the Native American Community Clinic.  Uzoma has been a constant advocate of the CHI program and of public health services and access in underrepresented communities in the Twin Cities.  He is featured in our newly created CHI informational video.

 

Uzoma Abakporo, 28, has received a 2014 Hawkinson Scholarship from the Vincent L. Hawkinson Foundation for Peace & Justice in Minneapolis.

A native of Nigeria, Abakporo is enrolled in the School of Public Health’s master in public health administration and policy program at the University of Minnesota. Drawing on his personal experience bringing health care to an isolated region in Nigeria, he is focusing his studies on addressing health disparities in Africa due to race and socioeconomic status.

Hawkinson Foundation scholarships are aimed at encouraging students who have already demonstrated a commitment to peace and justice to strive for those values in their educational pursuits and in their personal and professional lives. Since 1988, the Foundation has awarded scholarships to more than 130 students from or attending schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and North and South Dakota.

In 2010, following graduation from the College of Medicine at the University of Lagos, Abakporo volunteered with Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corps in an extremely underdeveloped area that lacked any modern health care services and was fraught with violence and ethnic division. Bringing together community heads of rival groups, small business owners, market women representatives and other stakeholders, he succeeded in building consensus around health care needs and led efforts to bring basic medical services to the area. Based on the framework established by the project, the clinic has remained functional and staffed by primary care physicians. 

In 2014, Abakoro served as a volunteer and organizer at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in the Twin Cities, and is a member of the Health Disparities Working Group at the University of Minnesota.

Upon graduation, Abakporo plans to return to Nigeria after completing his master’s degree to establish a non-governmental organization aimed at renovating and equipping primary health care centers in underserved areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, he intends to be an advocate at the federal government level for policies to improve access to care for underserved populations.

 

PLEASE NOTE: The 2014 Hawkinson scholars will be recognized at the Foundation’s Awards Presentation on Sunday, October 5, 2:30-4:30, at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 1660 W. County Road B, Roseville, MN. The event is open to the public, but RSVP is requested at 612-331-8125.

For more information, contact the Foundation at 612-331-8125 or online at hawkinsonfoundation.org.