Carlson School’s George Floyd Scholar Driven to Make a Difference
Monday, October 11, 2021
To Elvan Dossavi-Alipoeh, ’25 BSB, the name George Floyd means one thing.
“George Floyd represents power. I think that's the best way I can put it,” said Dossavi-Alipoeh. “Powerful name, powerful movement, just power.”
As the first recipient of the Carlson School’s Scholarship in Memory of George Floyd, Dossavi-Alipoeh carries the power of the movement through his education. The freshman believes his dedication and drive will pay off for his big dreams ahead.
“I’m genuinely honored that I’m able to carry [his name] on,” Dossavi-Alipoeh reflected.
Growing up in a Togolese household, at times, Dossavi-Alipoeh felt like an outsider to his peers. He learned to embrace his differences by high school where he participated in football, robotics, and Math League. While for many the COVID-19 pandemic was a time to step back, Dossavi-Alipoeh dug into his studies, finishing high school in just three years.
“During COVID I was just always sort of just sluggish at home and I felt I wasn't applying myself the way I should be,” he recalled. “So, I just kept on racking up classes...just trying to keep myself busy.”
As he upped his course load, his family faced hardships amid the shutdown. His mother, a hairstylist, lost customers and his father lost his job as a data analyst.
“I never saw my parents so stressed. It gave me a lot of motivation I would say,” Dossavi-Alipoeh described.
As the world around him adapted to the pandemic, he watched the social landscape shift after Floyd’s killing. Dossavi-Alipoeh reflected on his own experiences from living in north Minneapolis and turned to social media as an outlet, calling for change.
Now more than a year later, he is honored to continue his education in George Floyd’s name. With the help of the scholarship, Dossavi-Alipoeh hopes to one day give back to his community and help create a safer, more equitable place for all. He encourages others to do the same.
“Keep it pushing, pushing every single day,” he said. “Never give up, keep grinding. It’s all you really can do right now. It'll pay off later. I know that for a fact.”
This generous scholarship was developed to support incoming undergraduate students who will enhance the diversity of the student body and represents one of the Carlson School’s many commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. To support this scholarship, please visit https://give.umn.edu/giveto/carlsongf