Gustavo Flores, a second-year student pharmacist in Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS), is one of five student pharmacists in the nation among 489 applicants to receive a 2021-22 CVS Health Minority Scholarship. Flores will receive an $8,000 scholarship and national recognition. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and CVS Health partner to offer the annual scholarship program. The purpose of the scholarship is to reduce challenges and financial barriers that underrepresented minority students who are pursuing a PharmD degree face and to support them in caring for an increasingly diverse population of patients as part of a health care team.
Selection for the highly competitive scholarship is based on students’ leadership, academic success, and commitment to advancing the profession of pharmacy and patient care. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and have a faculty member submit a letter of support on their behalf. Flores also had to submit an essay about how his life experiences affected his decision to pursue a career in pharmacy.
In addition to Flores’ award this year, third-year CPHS student pharmacist Leah Bishop was a 2020 recipient.
“We are proud of Gustavo’s character and accomplishments that are recognized through this award,” stated Renae Chesnut, dean of the College. “To have one of five scholarship recipients for the past two years demonstrates the caliber of students who attend Drake and the opportunities that students have to thrive within our program.”
Flores hit the ground running from his first day in Drake’s PharmD program in 2020 and asserted himself as a student leader and an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. He spent many days volunteering at Drake’s COVID-19 student testing clinic as students moved on campus and volunteered at vaccination clinics throughout the spring 2021 semester. Flores is also the president-elect of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists and is a member of the College’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workgroup. He was a co-leader for the College’s virtual Spanish Medical Conversation Hours project during the 2020-21 academic year. Flores is also recognized by his instructors for his passion in giving back to assist Spanish-speaking patients at clinical sites.
“I am honored and thankful to be one of the recipients of the CVS Health Minority Scholarship,” said Flores. “This award will lighten the financial burden of pharmacy school which will allow me to focus on my academics and volunteering within the community. As a first-generation Hispanic student, it is one of my goals to increase representation in the health care community and be an advocate for underrepresented and low-income communities. Once again, thank you CVS Health and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.”
Drake University’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Drake University has made a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through several initiatives. The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is also committed to recruiting, supporting, and preparing a diverse student population as they become healthcare leaders. View the College’s commitment to diversity here.