Michelle Barnes-Anderson was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She earned her Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology, Master’s of Public Administration-Inspector General, and Master’s of Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She was a single mother to her only child Melquain Jatelle Anderson, whose life was cut short by an act of senseless gun violence. In her grief, she established the Melquain Jatelle Anderson Foundation(MJAF): Fighting Against Gun Violence Via Education(FAGVVE).
Michelle has established two separate scholarship funds in honor of Melquain’s determination to further his education. Both scholarships were created to provide students struggling academically and financially. One is at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where Melquain attended at the time of his untimely demise, matriculating to earn his Bachelor of Arts. The second is at Tompkins Community College, where he graduated with an Associate of Science Degree.
Michelle has been a driving force ensuring Melquain is remembered in the community as a man who kept up the DRIVE for more in life, as he was so determined to educate himself and give back to the community.
Michelle spearheaded the effort to have York Street, at the intersection of Gold Street, in Brooklyn, New York, renamed to Melquain Jatelle Anderson Drive.
It is Michelle’s strong belief that society must step up to find ways to give our youth a better chance to survive the challenges placed before them and become a positive force in our communities. “It is our duty to start early, letting children know they are always wanted, appreciated, and loved, even by those loved ones who have been called home.”