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Arianna Kellum | Promise

Kellum hopes to use her degree to affect transformative change in rural healthcare

Arianna Kellum, a junior from Columbus, Ohio, knew she wanted to go far from home for college to challenge herself. However, funding for her future soon became a principle concern for Kellum and her family.

“I did not get a full scholarship when I came to UA, so my family and I have had to take out lots of loans,” Kellum said. “Being an involved nursing student, it’s very difficult to find a job that’s flexible.”

The financial strain made it challenging for Kellum to truly enjoy her UA experience at first.

Determined to succeed, Kellum was awarded the Betty Johnson Snell Scholarship, lightening the cost burden of books and lab fees. With fewer financial constraints, Kellum became an active member in the Blackburn Institute, a civic engagement organization that fosters leadership skills among its students.

“I was really drawn to the fact that people wanted to help the community and wanted to better the state,” she said. “I love Blackburn’s mission and meeting people from different backgrounds, of different ages and with different interests.”

The Blackburn Institute, where she is currently a chairperson for the 2020 class, fueled Kellum’s desire to champion for people within the state of Alabama. Following several on-site service visits to clinics in rural Alabama, Kellum now hopes to transform and improve the health care standard of these struggling communities, specifically in Spanish-speaking areas.

“I minored in Spanish so I would love to bridge the gap between those communities in order to give people the health care they really need and deserve,” she said.

Following her anticipated graduation in 2022, Kellum’s ambition is to continue travel nursing around the United States to gain as much knowledge and experience with industry-leading technologies and practices as she can.

“We can all learn from each other, because everybody is doing something different to maintain their clinics,” Kellum said. “I would love to get my practitioner license and open a clinic in a rural area or an area where there’s not as many Spanish-speaking health care professionals.”

Without the financial provision of the Betty Johnson Snell Scholarship, Kellum may not have risen to the heights of accomplishment for which UA students are known. Scholarships, fellowships and other programming allow students such as Kellum to achieve their aspirations of excellence and leadership at The University of Alabama. Providing donor-funded scholarships and fellowships to more students allow us to recruit and retain students who will go on to improve the world around them.

Through The Rising Tide Capital Campaign, we will add 1,000 new endowed scholarships and fellowships and more than $1 million annually for our students.

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