Last month, Shir’rima Dixon was recognized as the 2022 recipient of the Anaja Griffin McNeal Purple Heart Scholarship.
The Anaja Griffin McNeal Purple Heart Scholarship was created to honor the memory and legacy of Anaja Griffin, a Brooklyn Center Class of 2020 graduate who was tragically killed before she could achieve her dream of attending an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Before graduating, Anaja (known as Naji) was a leader on the Cheer Squad and attended the HBCU spring break trip. On this trip she was deeply inspired by Black history and advocated for BC's curriculum to include more of it. Recipients of the scholarship, like Anaja, are also driven to give back to the community and to learn, teach, and MAKE Black history.
The scholarship was created last year with the involvement of Andre Debonaire McNeal (Naji's dad) and Dr. Zakia Robbins-McNeal (Naji's step-mom). The first recipient of this scholarship, Eve Taye, also attended the celebration and received additional recognition.
Shir’rima Dixon and Eve Taye
“I want to congratulate Eve and Shir'rima for their persistence, dedication, and heart through a couple of really hard years,” said Chloe Cotherman, Brooklyn Center secondary teacher. “We are honored to see Naji's legacy continued through these brilliant and brave young women! Shir’rima, welcome to Team Naji! We are so proud of you, and we are here to support you as you work towards your dreams of attending Kentucky State and becoming an accountant. You've got this!”