By Danielle Chavira

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – In an effort to increase diversity among medical school students, the University of Colorado School of Medicine is celebrating a new scholarship fund. Organizers chose to name it after Dr. Charles J. Blackwood who became the first African American to graduate from the school in 1947 and was in the top 10 of his class.

(credit: CU School of Medicine)

The Trinidad native graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Colorado Boulder.

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“I think he’s a person that not everyone knows about these days, and I think he was a hero, a pioneer to be the first Black man at the CU medical school,” said Terri Richardson, a doctor at Mile High Medical Society.

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The scholarship fund is a collaboration with Mile High Medical Society, a group of Black health professionals in Denver, which works to tackle health disparities.

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Four students will initially be awarded full scholarships.

Danielle Chavira