RALEIGH, NC – Twenty-five students at independent colleges and universities across North Carolina have been announced as the 2020-2021 academic year recipients of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) Health Sciences Scholarship. The scholarships, in the amount of $3,333.34, were distributed by the Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC) and are part of a three-year, $250,000 pledge from Blue Cross NC.

“Blue Cross NC recognizes that our state’s economic, social and cultural health outcomes are tied to our students’ education,” said Reagan Greene Pruitt, vice president of marketing and community engagement at Blue Cross NC. “We are proud to partner with ICFNC and strengthen our workforce by supporting North Carolina’s brightest students.”

“We are so grateful to Blue Cross NC for their generous commitment to North Carolina’s independent colleges and universities – providing much needed financial resources for so many deserving students,” said Colleen Kinser, director of the ICFNC.

Scholarship recipients are students from North Carolina who are first generation, underrepresented or from families who demonstrate financial need. They must be a junior or senior and have a minimum grade point average of 2.5.

This year’s recipients are:

Mercedes Wynn-Walker of Angier, University of Mount Olive, majoring in Psychology

Kayla Trotter of Apex, Montreat College, majoring in Cybersecurity

Alicia Minnihan of Cashiers, Warren Wilson College, majoring in Sociology/Anthropology

Gabriel Covington of Charlotte, Brevard College, majoring in Exercise Science

Mariapaz Gomez of Charlotte, Queens University of Charlotte, majoring in International Studies

Kenyon Askew of Colerain, Barton College, majoring in Mass Communication

Cristel Baltazar of Concord, Belmont Abbey College, majoring in Theology & Philosophy

Nijia Lewis of Fayetteville, Methodist University, majoring in Forensic Science

Bless Bull of Gastonia, Gardner-Webb University, majoring in Journalism

Nikayla Ross of Greensboro, Guilford College, majoring in Health Science

Maria Soto-Moraga of Hiddenite, Lenoir-Rhyne University, majoring in Nursing

Mackenzie Ulibarri of Hope Mills, Meredith College, majoring in Theatre

Christopher Coleman of Jacksonville, Louisburg College, major undecided

Martin Solano Munoz of Kannapolis, Catawba College, majoring in Nursing

Briasia White of Kings Mountain, Wingate University, majoring in Athletic Training

Kendall Bines of Lincolnton, Mars Hill University, majoring in Art

Leilani Nguyen of Morrisville, William Peace University, majoring in Biology

Kyle Williams of Penrose, Brevard College, majoring in Health Science

Christopher Barlow of Raleigh, Greensboro College, majoring in Criminal Justice

Keyshawn Campbell of Vanceboro, Pfeiffer University, majoring in Exercise Science

David Smith of Wade, Campbell University, majoring in Trust & Wealth Management

Eboni Mayle of Williamston, N.C. Wesleyan College, majoring in Biology

JaLisa K. Lumpkin of Winston Salem, Salem College, majoring in Business Administration

Malikah Meyers of Winston-Salem, Lees-McRae College, majoring in Nursing

Dayana Gomez-Alvarado of Zebulon, Chowan University, majoring in Criminal Justice



The Independent College Fund of North Carolina is the division of North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (NCICU) that provides student scholarship aid and enrichment programs. NCICU is a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation that represents North Carolina’s 36 private colleges and universities.  The mission of NCICU is to support, represent, and advocate for North Carolina independent higher education. NCICU represents independent higher education in the areas of state and federal public policy and on education issues with the other sectors of education in the state. It also provides research and information to and about private colleges and universities, conducts staff development opportunities and coordinates collaborative programs.  For more information about NCICU, visit www.ncicu.org.


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is committed to making health care better, simpler and more affordable. We have been driving better health in North Carolina since 1933, working to tackle our communities’ greatest health challenges. Blue Cross NC serves its customers and communities of more than 3.8 million members, including approximately 1.1 million on behalf of other Blue Plans. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at www.bluecrossnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.