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Gainesville High seniors get full ride to FAMU
University's president presents scholarships
Florida A&M President James Ammons thanks Gainesville High students Crystal Lipscomb, left, and Ashlee Colbert after awarding the two seniors full scholarships to FAMU on Tuesday afternoon at Gainesville High School.

The Rattlers were out at Gainesville High School on Tuesday afternoon as two students were offered presidential scholarships to Florida A&M University — by the president of the university.

Gainesville High seniors Ashlee Colbert and Crystal Lipscomb were offered full-ride scholarships, worth more than $100,000 each.

The scholarships will cover tuition, fees, books and room and board for four years.

“I’m speechless,” said Colbert. “Why would you not take that? It will make things so much easier. I won’t have to worry about it year to year.”

FAMU’s president, James Ammons, was on campus to present the scholarships.

“It is the hallmark of Florida A&M University — academic excellence,” said Ammons.

“We have made a commitment to bring to our campus the best and the brightest and Gainesville High School has some very, very bright and talented students here. So we’re here today to recognize that by presenting full scholarships to these two young ladies.”

The two were selected because of their high academic achievements and involvement in extracurricular activities, including Generation Inspiration, a program designed to expose students to community leadership and open doors for more opportunities.

“Our best athletes get recruited all the time,” said Ashley Bell, Hall County commissioner and founder of Generation Inspiration.

“We want to create an environment in Generation Inspiration and at Gainesville High School where our best minds get recruited all the time.”

Colbert was the president of Generation Inspiration and Lipscomb helped coordinate the last academy — an eight-week program where students get to experience different avenues of civic leadership.

“We’ve been doing this since 2004,” said Bell. “We’re just trying to create more opportunities for the students.”

Opportunities like the one FAMU has presented.

“It’s an amazing feeling for me,” said Lipscomb. “I feel overwhelmed right now because ever since my junior year in high school, I’ve loved FAMU. So for the president to come here I feel really honored and I’m just really excited to take this opportunity and make the most of it.”

Ammons said the university recruits the metro Atlanta region very hard and enrolling students like Colbert and Lipscomb verifies why it continues to see success in this region.

“The Atlanta region has been a very, very important market for FAMU,” said Ammons. “We will continue to come back to be in this region because of the talent that’s being produced in places like Gainesville.”

Colbert and Lipscomb will graduate this year and move on to FAMU.

They both plan on majoring in engineering.

“We know, based on their high school academic record, they’re going to be superstars at Florida A&M University and beyond,” said Ammons.