How Does the Ignite Program Support Pre-Health Students?

Portland State's innovative Pre-Health program is empowering students to make a difference and impact the lives of others by ushering in the next generation of healthcare professionals.

The Ignite Scholarship and Mentorship Program created through a collaboration between Portland State University, Kaiser Permanente and The Contingent, helps students realize their dream of helping others and their communities through health.  


Open to all PSU students who have been enrolled at PSU for at least two terms, these $5,000 scholarships allow students to explore their passions in pre-health studies that prepare them for a fulfilling career in healthcare. Part of the scholarship requirement is that you will serve as a mentor for newly admitted pre-health students with the focus on providing academic, professional and social support. Apply for the Ignite Program Scholarship by the deadline, February 1.

Selection criteria for the scholarship includes financial need, as well as the applicant’s interest in the mentorship and leadership aspect of the program.


Newer students who do not meet the two-term enrollment requirement can apply to be matched with a mentor through the program. This is a year-long commitment that begins in the fall and continues through the winter and spring terms. These connections build leadership skills and create a more cohesive pre-health community on campus.

“One of the most meaningful things we can do to shape the future of healthcare is invest in the next generation of health workers,” says Ruth Williams-Brinkley, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc.

“We’ve seen firsthand how creating a diverse workforce can improve a community’s health over time. When a care provider shares a language, heritage or cultural background with a patient, the patient is more likely to have a better health outcome."

Learn more about eligibility requirements and application instructions for the Ignite Scholarship and Mentorship Program or apply to be a mentee

Get started on your journey to a meaningful healthcare career. Apply to be a mentor through the PSU Scholarship application portal.