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Police officer saves her own money to give scholarships to local, high school seniors

“People say to you …well…are you Black or are you blue?”, she says.
Posted at 8:04 PM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 20:04:26-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — In her Living the Legacy series, FOX 4’s Shari Armstrong highlights people in Southwest Florida who serve our community - in their own way.

When life throws obstacles her way, Tiara Brown says giving up is never an option.

“It’s something that you have to overcome. Something that you have to be stronger than.”

Strength is something this Fort Myers native is not lacking.

Boxing is a skill she began to craft when was 13 years old through the city’s Police Athletic League (PAL).

The Fort Myers Middle and Fort Myers High School graduate says though she dominated in other sports, boxing took her all the way to China for the 2012 World Championships.

That’s where she won gold for Team USA.

“It was the podium for me when all the flags went up! But then, that USA flag went to the top and that anthem came on…it was like just the best feeling ever,” Brown tells FOX 4.

She’s held many titles - including professional boxer and world champion.

Add in a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Columbus University, and you can also add “police officer” to her list of growing titles.

“I became a police officer in the nation’s Capitol of Washington, D.C”.

Brown chose to protect and serve - a service that hasn’t gone without recognition.

In 2019, she was named DC Metropolitan Police’s Officer of the Year.

She tells FOX 4 all of this happened during a time that it wasn’t easy to be an officer and a Black woman.

“People say to you …well…are you Black or are you blue?”, she says.

“Well, of course I’m Black. Anyone can see that!”.

But what can’t be defined by her outward appearance, she makes clear in her response.

“I say I’m a person, I’m a child of God, and I’m a community servant.”

Brown’s service to the community comes from reflecting upon her own and some of her peers.

“I always looked back to 239, and thought about how so many people didn’t chase their dreams. They could’ve, but just didn’t have the backing to do it.”

That’s why, she says, she saves her money every year. She wants to be that backing for students in Southwest Florida.

Annually, local seniors submit essays to the Tiara Brown Academic and Athletic Scholarship.

This year, two students were selected and each received $1,000 in scholarship - thanks to a match by community advocate, Keith White.

After almost 6 years with DC’s Metropolitan Police, Brown decided to move back to her hometown of Fort Myers. That’s where she plans to continue serving - but this time, as an officer with the Fort Myers Police Department.

She says she’s excited to be back home.

If you know someone who should be considered for the Living the Legacy series, send Shari Armstrong an email at shari.armstrong@fox4now.com.