Yohanna Endashaw

2024 - CHICAGO

Yohanna Endashaw is a junior at Niles West High School, in Skokie, Illinois. As the daughter of immigrants and an African American, she came to understand acutely the severity of healthcare disparities between first- and third-world countries, as well as those within America faced by minority and low-income populations. This led her to founding Uplifting Health, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to challenging the discrimination and inaccessibility that perpetuate health inequities. As CEO, she spearheads initiatives and leads more than 20 leaders and 160 volunteers. In just six months, Uplifting Health has donated more than 5,600 health/medical supplies and raised more than $1,000 for centers supporting racial equity. Meanwhile, Yohanna has met with community members and used social media to raise awareness about issues like period poverty and immunization inaccessibility, reaching more than 2,000 people. She plans to continue her work for health equity directly in the field of medicine by pursuing a medical degree and MPH, aiming for a position at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Additionally, Yohanna is passionate about writing and performing poetry as a method to amplify her voice and those of other marginalized individuals. She self-published a poetry collection titled "Maturing in Free Verse." She is the two-time Illinois State Champion of Poetry Out Loud, allowing her to use spoken word as advocacy on a national stage.