Two CITA Students Receive First Scholarships in Historic Wellstar Partnership


Announced late last year, Wellstar Health System has partnered with the Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy (CITA) for a long-term scholarship commitment. Two exceptional CITA students were recently named the inaugural winners of $2500 scholarships at the school's first Senior Awards Banquet.

"We are so excited about this," said CITA Director Dr. Tiffany Barney. "Wellstar has made a huge investment in our Healthcare Pathways, and they are a really great partner for us. In addition to the scholarships, they are also involved with many day-to-day operations at CITA and help our students to get engaged with individuals in the industry."

Karen Salas and Daniella Tudeme were the proud recipients of the first two of these scholarships. Karen will use her $2500 to attend Georgia State University, while Daniella will attend Mercer University in the fall. Both girls were awarded their checks at the Senior Banquet in a surprise announcement by Wellstar's Chief Talent Officer, Dr. Laura Dannels.


"I am so excited to give away these two scholarships, but it was a difficult choice for our team," Dr. Dannels told the crowd. "Seeing the dedication of these students in high school is incredibly humbling and inspiring."

"Wellstar is working to create a healthier future for all Georgians," Dr. Dannels continued. "As we continue to build and strengthen our partnerships in the communities, we're grateful for people like Dr. Barney and Superintendent Chris Ragsdale for their support and vision for healthcare. We need a future healthcare workforce for tomorrow, and we're so proud to partner with CITA!"

The Cobb Schools Foundation facilitated these scholarships and the long-term partnership between Wellstar and Cobb Schools. Corporate sponsorships like this one are critical to the growth and advancement of local school programs such as the Healthcare Pathways at CITA.

"This scholarship marks a significant milestone, aligning perfectly with the celebration of our first year of graduates from CITA," said Felicia Wagner, Executive Director of the Foundation. "It underscores our commitment to supporting the next generation of healthcare professionals and innovators."

"I am very grateful to have received this scholarship," Karen said after hearing the news that she had been chosen. It is such an honor to be one of the first recipients." Karen dreams of becoming a physician with her own practice so that she can give back to the community. She also completed over 60 hours of community service during her senior year.

Daniella was also thankful for the scholarship and mentioned that it would greatly assist her with her future aspirations and goals at Mercer and beyond. She plans to become a pediatrician and has already earned certifications in phlebotomy tech and licenses as a certified nursing assistant, pharmacy tech, and patient care technician. She works with women battling breast cancer and wants to offer hope and comfort to those in need.

"These girls are stellar examples of CITA students, and they are very deserving of these scholarships," said Dr. Barney. "We can't wait to see what they will accomplish next in their healthcare training and careers."

"These scholarships not only recognize the hard work and dedication of our students but also empower them to pursue their ambitions in the healthcare field with greater confidence and resources. We believe this initiative will inspire and nurture future leaders who will drive positive change in our communities," concluded Ms. Wagner optimistically.

Congratulations to Karen and Daniella on earning the first two scholarships from this important partnership between CITA and Wellstar Health System. Good luck in all your future endeavors!