UofL School of Nursing Dean Sonya Hardin and student scholarship recipient Kaelyn Goatley

In honor of the life and legacy of Breonna Taylor, a $100,000 donation from Thrive Causemetics Inc. to the University of Louisville launches the Breonna Taylor Memorial Endowment, a major boost for the Breonna Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund in Nursing. This scholarship will support the future dreams of nursing students from Kentucky. The company hopes its donation will inspire additional major gifts and donations to reach the $2,000,000 full endowment needed to ensure the scholarship lives on forever.

Thrive Causemetics also has donated an additional $3,000 toward an immediate-use scholarship in honor of Breonna Taylor.

“Like so many around the world, the employees and customers of Thrive Causemetics were heartbroken and horrified by the tragic death of Breonna Taylor, and the injustice that was served in her killing,” said Thrive Causemetics Founder and CEO Karissa Bodnar. “As a way to turn pain into purpose, our team went to work to find ways that we could help keep her legacy alive. While our hearts ache for the beautiful life that was lost, we are comforted to know that Breonna’s legacy will live on in the hearts of the beneficiaries who receive this scholarship, as well as the lives those individuals change.”

Breonna Taylor was an emergency room technician at UofL Health, the University of Louisville health system, at the time of her death. She was killed by police officers serving a “no-knock” warrant at her home in March 2020. Her career aspiration was to become a nurse.

“Our family is amazed by this contribution. The women in our family are all in health care, and Thrive Causemetics is bringing smiles to our faces and tears to our eyes, because this will pave the way for so many others to live Breonna’s dream of working in the medical field. In a time where health care workers are needed more than ever, we are so thankful. Thrive Causemetics’ generosity is going to help so many. Breonna’s legacy and the outpouring of support like this continues to bring us so much light,” said Sam Aguiar, attorney, on behalf of Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother.

UofL freshman Kaelyn Goatley is the recipient of the immediate-use $3,000 award and plans to work as a labor and delivery nurse or in the area of pediatric care when she graduates.

“Becoming a nurse means so much to me because as a Black woman, I know there are injustices everywhere in the world and the health care field is no different. I will fight for every single one of my patients and make sure they receive the best care – this scholarship is what’s helping me work towards that goal, and I am extremely grateful,” she said.

Thrive Causemetics and UofL share a common commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The Breonna Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund supports students from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, including underrepresented minorities, low-income and first-generation college students. In choosing the recipient for the scholarship, preference is granted to a Black female who is a Kentucky resident as was Taylor.

Donor investment in students reduces financial obstacles and allows them to unleash their full potential in future careers. The scholarship helps ensure workforce diversity, with a vision toward the elimination of racial inequality in health care.

“There could not be a better company to partner with on this endowment and scholarship, as its  philosophy of helping women thrive through donations from product sales allows organizations to inspire women to be more,” said Sonya Hardin, dean, UofL School of Nursing. “This scholarship helps a woman obtain her dream of becoming a nurse and supporting the community in that role.”

The Breonna Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by the UofL Health board members in summer 2020, and so far, several hundred donors from throughout the United States have given to that fund. In addition to Goatley, one other student has received the scholarship, which is a four-year renewable award. 

More information on the new endowment is available online here.