2024 Tillman Scholar

Daniele Anderson

University of Pennsylvania

“Your greatest challenge is often the catalyst for your purpose. I aim to reimagine a more equitable and patient-centered healthcare system that empowers people to live meaningful and impactful lives.”

Daniele’s passion for serving others was shaped by the love and generosity of her parents, who adopted her out of foster care. Following a family tradition of three generations of military service, she attended the United States Naval Academy. Daniele was commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer and served onboard two guided missile cruisers. Her interest in economic inequality and social justice, sparked by her parents stories of their experiences during segregation, compelled her to pursue a Master’s Degree focused on ethnic studies

Just weeks into her graduate studies, she was diagnosed with cancer. Faced with the challenge of accessing adequate healthcare through the Veteran Health Administration, Daniele co-founded Black Veterans Project (BVP), a nonprofit engaged in research and legislative advocacy to address racial disparities in veteran access to benefits. BVP’s groundbreaking work has spurred a Government Accountability study into Veterans Administration healthcare practices and influenced the introduction of the first reparations Bill in Congress addressing historic racial discrimination Black Veterans have faced in accessing their benefits. Daniele’s advocacy work has been highlighted by the New York Times, National Public Radio, Reuters, and NBC.

Daniele is pursuing a Master of Business Administration at the University of Pennsylvania. Building upon her advocacy work and anchored in her own experiences navigating the administrative and technological hurdles of long-term cancer treatment, she plans to launch a health-tech startup and build products that streamline and integrate care coordination to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors.