Heritage Hall News

Taknesha Hawthorne '08 Awarded HHAA Alumni Scholarship

The Heritage Hall Alumni Association (HHAA) recently recognized Taknesha Hawthorne ’08 as its 2022 Alumni Scholarship recipient. The scholarship honors an alumnus/a who has been in higher education for at least one semester and exemplifies the tenets of the School’s Charger Code – to learn with honor, lead with courage, and serve with compassion. Award recipients receive $1,000, and an additional $250 will be donated to the charity of their choice.

Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Hawthorne attended Heritage Hall from 2000 to 2008. She continued her education at the University of Oklahoma, where she received a Bachelor of Science from the College of Nursing. After working as a critical care cardiac nurse for eight years, Hawthorne was accepted into the Masters of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion program at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa.

“As a perfusionist, I will be responsible for operating the bypass machine that takes over the normal function of the heart and lungs during open heart surgeries. Continuing to live the Charger Code following my graduation from Heritage Hall has guided my aspirations to become a perfusionist and given me the self-confidence to pursue this career, the compassion to serve others, and a strong sense of purpose and personal responsibility,” Hawthorne said.

Upon receiving the award from HHAA President Ashley Stark Ford ’02, Hawthorne commented, “The HHAA Alumni Scholarship will allow me to continue chasing my dream of earning my credentials in perfusion, which requires special training and coursework. I am so grateful to the HHAA for this honorable award that will help further my education and bring me a step closer to serving the medical community following graduation.”  

As the beneficiary of the $250 charitable donation, Hawthorne chose HeartGift. This organization provides life-saving heart surgeries to children worldwide where specialized medical treatment is either scarce or nonexistent. 

“I chose HeartGift because one in 100 babies are born with congenital heart defects globally each year, and it is my sincere hope this donation will help a child receive life-saving care at no cost to their family. Upon graduating, I look forward to volunteering for medical missions that provide heart surgeries to underprivileged children,” Hawthorne said.
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