2022 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Jordan, Jackson (11th), Chassaniol, Thomas, Barnett, Butler (38th), Kirby, McCaughn, Simmons (13th)
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND CONGRATULATING DIA CHAWLA OF PILLOW ACADEMY IN GREENWOOD AS THE SECOND MISSISSIPPI HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT TO WIN THE NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL HEISMAN TROPHY, GIVEN TO THE TOP HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ATHLETE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
WHEREAS, from an applicant pool of the top 60,000 high school scholar athletes graduating with the Class of 2019 in America, Dia Chawla of Greenwood, Mississippi, was named the National High School Heisman Trophy winner in the award's 28th year. She attended the National Heisman Trophy Ceremony in New York City on December 11, 2021, and was recognized by ESPN on national television for being named the top student athlete in the country; and
WHEREAS, Dia is the second Mississippi High School student to win the national award, joining her brother Sunjay Chawla, who won the national award in 2018. Both of them are the only Mississippi residents to ever win a college or high school Heisman Trophy; and
WHEREAS, Dia is a high school senior in Greenwood, Mississippi, and excels in tennis, basketball and dance. She has won two State Championships as the Captain of the Pillow Academy Dance Team, has won a State Singles Tennis Championship, has been to three State Championship Finals, and is a three-year varsity player on a State Championship Pillow Academy Basketball Team; and
WHEREAS, Dia is a National Merit Finalist and scored a perfect 36 on the ACT, a score achieved by only 5,000 of the approximate two million students graduating in 2022; and
WHEREAS, Dia has excelled in community service, creating the ACT Diversity Prep Class in Greenwood that brought students together from Greenwood High School and Pillow Academy to study and socialize outside the classroom. The class paid 14 students to study together in the fall and work on joint projects, with the students averaging a 2.8 point increase on the ACT on their December testing; and
WHEREAS, Dia has volunteered over 500 hours in the Greenwood community during her high school career, including tutoring and taking assignments to students who were struggling with Virtual Learning in the Greenwood Public Schools through a program created by the Boys and Girls Club of Leflore County and Greenwood Consolidated Public School Assistant Superintendent Kelvin Pulley; and
WHEREAS, Dia is first in her class at Pillow Academy with a 4.92 grade point average. She plans to attend a Division I University and major in Public Policy and study a Pre-Med concentration, with a desire to come back to the Mississippi Delta and improve the health care and educational challenges that the Mississippi Delta faces; and
WHEREAS, Dia is the daughter of Suresh and Gauri Chawla of Greenwood, and is the younger sister of Sunjay Chawla, a junior at Southern Methodist University. Her grandfather, Dr. V.K. Chawla, was honored by the Mississippi State Senate in 2008 for his contributions to the education and economic community of the Delta. Dia's brother, Sunjay Chawla, was also honored by the Mississippi State Senate in 2019 for winning the National Heisman Trophy and contributing through community service to the well-being of the Mississippi Delta; and
WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we join the citizens of Greenwood, Mississippi, in recognizing a student athlete whose national award has brought honor to her school, her family, her community, and to the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend and congratulate Dia Chawla of Greenwood as the second Mississippi high school student to win the National High School Heisman award, and extend our best wishes to Dia and her family on this high honor.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution be presented to Dia Chawla and her family, forwarded to Pillow Academy Headmaster Barrett Donahoe and Greenwood Consolidated School District Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Pulley, and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.