Leadership | 04.20.23
Meet Claudia Elmore: Winner of the 2021 Empowering Tomorrow's MSP® Scholarship
When I was awarded the Empowering Tomorrow’s MSP® Scholarship in 2021, I was overwhelmed with joy, and quite honestly, a little bit shocked. At the time, applying for this scholarship felt like jumping into unfamiliar territory and taking a daunting leap of faith. It was hard for me to imagine putting myself out there to compete with other MSPs on a national level.
With the encouragement of my NAMSS mentor, who also played an important role in my achieving the CPCS® certification in 2021, I started preparing to apply by thinking back on my life’s journey. In doing so I realized that this is not the hardest thing I have ever done, and that in fact, all my experiences and hurdles I faced as a teenage immigrant from El Salvador have led me to this exact moment. Not only can I put myself out there and be successful, I do it every day! It is woven into the fabric of who I am, just as it is for so many people living and working under the auspices of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) today. After I was rewarded with the scholarship, my personal growth began to expand, as did the opportunities available to me. I was sent to attend my first NAMSS Annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee, and it was an unforgettable experience. I was able to network with other MSPs and industry experts, and really get a feel for how far I can go in my own career. I realized how important it is to me that MSPs of all backgrounds have a safe space in our field to be welcomed and valued, and that I want to be an integral part of ensuring that safe space for all. Following the conference, I applied for and was selected to join the NAMSS DEI Task Force, a group that devotes itself to the diversity and inclusive practices within NAMSS membership, leadership, and the medical services profession.
Why is this work so important? In her book, Which Two Heads Are Better Than One? How Diverse Teams Create Breakthrough ideas and Make Smarter Decisions, Juliet Bourke discusses how diverse groups make smarter decisions and generate breakthrough insights. According to Bourke’s findings, diverse teams are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets, three times as likely to perform higher than their less diverse counterparts, and six times as likely to be more innovative and agile in their ideas and strategies, resulting in the eight times as likely achievement of better business outcomes. Essentially, our differences are our greatest strength. When forces combine, we become a stronger unit able to overcome the daily challenges faced by MSPs and inspire other organizations to create more diverse and inclusive workforces. I am so excited to help bridge identified gaps to equality and to put DEI at the forefront as a volunteer member of the DEI taskforce and recipient of the Empowering Tomorrow’s MSP® Scholarship.
Winning this scholarship has positively impacted me on so many levels, and I would like to encourage all NAMSS members to participate in the educational events available to them during NAMSS Celebrating Diversity Month, and to take advantage of the various scholarship opportunities that will undoubtedly expand their world, as it has done mine.