Nine days after George Perry Floyd Jr. was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer, University of Minnesota president Joan Gabel announced a systemwide scholarship honoring his memory.
Floyd, who had five children and two grandchildren, grew up in Houston and moved to Minneapolis in 2014, where he worked as a truck driver and security guard. During his memorial service, universities nationwide were called upon to create scholarships in his honor to help create a more just and equitable world.
The University of Minnesota Scholarship in honor of George Floyd supports underrepresented students, including the Black or African American leaders of tomorrow.
One of the first recipients of the scholarship, Rayna Taylor, a College of Liberal Arts technical writing and communications major, says that the scholarship gives her hope as she begins the next chapter of her life.
“It means a lot to me that people are willing to invest in the future of this up-and-coming generation—especially in the Black community, where sometimes we feel unheard or left out,” says Taylor.
Krysjahn Johnson, a student at the University of Minnesota Rochester majoring in health sciences, was also chosen as a recipient.
Johnson plans to earn a PhD and eventually become an audiologist working with patients in a clinical setting. “The best thoughts and ideas are in a diverse group of people,” she says. “I hope to be a pioneer in making sure that there’s all different kinds of faces and bodies in every type of job. I think that will make America and the world, in general, a better place.”