Moriam Yarrow is the co-founder of The Yarrow And Osafo Scholarship Foundation. She is a Nigerian-American born in the city of Chicago and raised in the south suburbs. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago with a B.S in Neuroscience, and a Masters in Healthcare Administration candidate at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. She has aspirations to become a C-Suite healthcare administrator as a representative for the underrepresented and a beacon for change to improve access and quality of care for underserved communities. This overlaps with her passion to improve education and healthcare, as her experience and research highlight that an increase in educational attainment can better health outcomes and life expectancy for African Americans. As an alumna of HIllcrest High School, she saw the challenges that students faced with an education system that was not developed for them. By recognizing these disparities in education, the need for a holistic approach to better educational attainment for African American students drove Moriam to co-found YO Scholarship.
At a very young age, Moriam began her advocacy for representation. At her high-school, Hillcrest, she implemented the first-ever Origins fair for black history month to bring students and the community together to learn and celebrate the history of African Americans. She continued her involvement in her community and University as the President of the African Student Council and executive board member of the Black Student Union by developing a scholarship for one of the members, establishing safe spaces and events, and coordinating volunteer opportunities. Furthermore, she has participated in roundtable discussions with the Lieutenant Governor to improve enrollment and retention of black and brown students at the university. As a CHANCE ambassador, Moriam was part of developing a scholarship workshop to assist her peers in finding funding for their education. Through this program, Moriam mentored incoming high school students and underclassmen to assist them in their transition to a university, while still being involved in back to school volunteering activities. These experiences motivated her to advocate for underrepresented students like herself while understanding the necessity of mentorship, scholarship, and community engagement in developing a well-rounded student. Moriam continues to be involved in creating programs and initiatives that better serve students like herself and future generations.
As President and CEO, she plans to exercise her leadership role to improve the lives of African American students. Utilizing her skillset and her network to develop programs and provide resources to students who lack them. Moriam’s education and volunteering experience will continue to propel the mission of the YO Scholarship Foundation into uncharted pastures.