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NYU Announces Full-Ride Scholarship for Every Medical Student

All students enrolled in the MD degree program are eligible.

With all this talk about free education, New York University (NYU) is taking the decision out of the government's hands.

On Thursday, the top 10 medical school in the country announced its plans to offer a full scholarship to all new, current, and future medical students.

This effort is critical due to anticipated shortages of medical professionals. Roughly 75 percent of medical students in the United States graduated with some debt last year. The average debt owed is $191,000, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

According to Rafael Rivera, associate dean for admissions and financial aid, "The debt can scare people away. One of those individuals could be the one to find a cure for cancer. For us, it's important to have the best applicant pool possible and society deserves nothing less"

By 2025, the medical field is expecting to have a shortage of 11,000 surgeons and 98,000 lab technicians. This is largely due to mounting tuition costs that the middle to lower class and minority groups feel the most. In 2015 the medical school acceptance rate was 41.1% and, while white, Asian, and Hispanic students were all accepted at roughly that rate, Black or African American students were accepted at a rate of 34%.

This is despite the fact that the average MCAT scores for Black students are only, on average, 7 points lower than their white counterparts. In addition, while White students see a graduation rate of 58.8%, while Black and Hispanic students only graduate at a rate of 6% and 5% respectively.

It is believed that these lessened costs would encourage doctors to accept potentially lower paying jobs such as those needed in primary care. It is also predicted that the biggest beneficiaries of this would be minority groups.

According to an AAMC study, "Research shows that physician diversity adds value to the health-care system by expanding access to health care. Racial and ethnic minority physicians are more likely to practice primary care than their white peers. Black or African-American, Hispanic or Latino, and American Indian or Alaska Native physicians are also more likely to practice in medically underserved areas."

This effort has been 11 years in the making. The dean of NYU Langone Health says the college has raised $450 million out of the $600 million needed to make the scholarship permanent.

He also said, "Our goal was to raise enough money to enable students to graduate with as little debt as possible."

Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole Selected as Board Chair and Seventh President of National Council of Negro Women

"My heart is overflowing with gratitude for this honor to serve as the seventh president of this organization that has been a voice of and for Black women," said Dr. Cole.

The National Council of Negro Women (NCMW) selected Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole as its chair and seventh president during the closing session of their 58th Biennial National Convention in Washington, D.C. Ms. Ingrid Saunders Jones, who served as NCNW's chair for more than six years, will continue to serve the organization as the immediate past chair.

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HBCUs​ Set Foundation for Black Politicians in Key Positions

"Black people have always been underestimated. The Black college experience is still an exceptional way to train young people," said Senator Art Haywood, a Morehouse Graduate.

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What Kamala Harris, Alma Adams, Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams all have in common, in addition to being influential in U.S. politics, is they're graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities ( HBCUs) — Howard University, North Carolina A&T, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, and Spelman College.

Approximately 40 percent of the members of Congress are HBCU graduates, according to the Network Journal, a Black professional and small business magazine. And recipients of The United Negro College Fund and Thurgood Marshall Foundation scholarships graduate from college at rates well above the national average.

"We're producing outstanding leaders in all of the major professions," said Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and former Delaware State president.

"Anytime you can look at (HBCU) success stories, it just enhances their relevancy and continues to move them forward in a positive way."

This year, a record 38 women of color were elected to Congress. Many of them are HBCU graduates.

The prospect of so many Black-college graduates being elected to statewide office in the same year is unprecedented, Keneshia Grant, an assistant professor of political science at Howard University, said.

And they are touting their HBCU training. Abrams expressed her disapproval of legislation plans for education that did not include those institutions.

Gillum responded to President Trump's tweet attacking him about his lack of Ivy League education:

Art Haywood is one of four Black state senators in Pennsylvania, and one of two from Morehouse.

"If the two Black state senators had come from Harvard or Yale, then those schools would get all the credit," Haywood said.

"Black people have always been underestimated," Haywood said. "I don't think there's any more validation required. The Black college experience is still an exceptional way to train young people."

Of politicians like Abrams and Gillum, the president of HBCU Dillard University Walter Kimbrough said they are sending a message: "It's a reaffirmation, not only for students but for families, that you can go to an HBCU and compete with anyone."

Approximately 13 percent of HBCU graduates are CEOS, 40 percent are engineers and 50 percent are professors at non-HBCUs, according to the Network Journal.

The HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities study shows how the United States economy benefits from HBCUs: $14.8 billion in economic impact. In addition, graduates predominantly come from low-income areas, giving them and the communities the opportunity to break cycles of poverty and open doors to successful and lucrative careers. Individual graduates can earn $927,000 within their lifetime, $130 billion collectively over their lifetime.

Mother of Murdered Black Teen Wins Georgia House Seat

"I was looking beyond my own tragedy," Lucy McBath said.

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Winning in a district with affluent white voters as the majority, Lucy McBath was advised initially during her campaign not to talk about the details of her 17-year-old son's murder.

Instead, she not only mentioned Jordan Davis' story, she also called attention to the reality of other Black teens like him, including Trayvon Martin.

McBath, a Democrat, defeated Republican incumbent Karen Handel who had been elected to represent Georgia's 6th Congressional District just last year.

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Michael Jordan Makes Multimillion-Dollar Donation to Break Poverty Cycle Through Mentorship

"My mentors believed in me and taught me the power of perseverance," Jordan said.

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NBA legend Michael Jordan believes so much in the power of mentorship that he has made a multimillion-dollar donation to a national nonprofit whose mission is to "break the cycle of generational poverty."

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Native American Tribes Push Back Against Voter Suppression

Tribes in North Dakota to provide free identification with street addresses to its members for voting.

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When the Supreme Court supported laws in North Dakota that require IDs must display a "current residential street address," about 70,000 Native American voices that could've been silenced.

But The Turtle Mountain Chippewa, Standing Rock Sioux, Spirit Lake Sioux and Three Affiliated Tribes in North Dakota all have helped provide free IDs with street address to tribal members who live on reservations. As over Tuesday, over 2,000 IDs have been provided, and the programs will continue to provide IDs through election day.

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Oprah: Blood of Men, Women Lynched for Trying to Vote 'Has Seeped Into My DNA'

"I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain," Oprah Winfrey said, at a rally for Stacey Abrams.

In the first of two events on Thursday, Oprah Winfrey gave an electrifying speech in Marietta in support of Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

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Oprah's Headed to Georgia to Campaign for Stacey Abrams

Oprah Winfrey will participate in two town hall-style events.

Oprah Winfrey has endorsed Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate in a tight gubernatorial race, and will visit Georgia.

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Creative Costumes Make Halloween Fun for Kids in Wheelchairs

Volunteers dedicated their time to help transform children's wheelchairs.

Fellow students created a Cat Boy costume from the animated series PJ Masks for Trae Bruns who is battling Apert Syndrome. / Screenshot from KTVI-TV video

Halloween can be a challenging time for parents of children with disabilities when trying to find a costume that complies with their disability.

Shriner's Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City, Utah is doing its part to make the last day in October a fun-filled, stress-free day. In its third year decorating, volunteers from the hospital continue to build creative costumes for children in wheelchairs.

Matt Lowell, director of seating and mobility, came up with the idea in 2016 and it took off. Volunteers take costume suggestions in early October and run with them, using cardboard, paint, PVC pipes, and fabrics to create costumes that have people in awe.

"It used to be that I could never get Carter close enough to the porch while trick-or-treating," Heather Thorup told The Washington Post. "But now, because of his costume, everyone comes to him."

It was only two years ago that Thorup cried after seeing her son, Carter, then 6-years-old, lagging behind a group of his friends and watching from the sidewalk as kids ran by him with candy-filled buckets, leaving him largely unnoticed. It was a heart-wrenching sight, until she discovered the Shriner's Hospital Halloween workshop.

Last year, her anxiety changed to excitement as volunteers transformed his wheelchair into a Batmobile and he donned a cool Batman costume. Instead of being left out of the conversation, he was the conversation. Now kids and adults alike came to check him out.

From food trucks to magic carpets to Tranfsormers, the staff at Shriner's have come up with an answer to almost every request. Each child now has cool wheels that make them the center of attention on Halloween.

This year, Carter Thorup will be wheeling around his neighborhood as an Optimus Prime transformer, and he is all smiles.

Spirit Halloween, the large retail chain, was so inspired by the Utah hospital that it created costumes that are available online to adapt to wheelchairs. This year's costumes include a rocket ship, princess carriage, race car, and monster truck retailing for $100 each.

Meanwhile, fifth-graders at Silver Creek Elementary School in Troy, Ill., worked together to make Halloween fun for a wheelchair-bound kindergarten student, Trae Bruns, battling Apert Syndrome. They designed him an awesome costume.

"Some parents have created just out of the box ideas for Halloween and it came to me that why can`t we do this for students in wheelchairs?" Cayla Seaton, special education teacher, said to KTVI in an interview.

"I just want people to know that just because somebody looks different doesn`t mean that they`re not like the rest of us," says Bruns. "He may look different but he likes to do everything everybody else loves to do."

The students began working on the costumes in September. Trae's Cat Boy costume from the animated series PJ Masks was a success.