Sunday, June 26, 2016

Chicago student who overcame adversity among FAMU’s incoming scholarship recipients

This year’s group of Distinguished Scholar Award recipients at Florida A&M University includes a young woman who made national headlines during a freedom of speech controversy.

Taiylar Ball was banned from her senior prom at Homewoof-Floosmoor High School in suburban Chicago after she read a poem entitled “Dear Black Girls” during a talent show hosted by the school. The poem used explicit language to discuss race.

Ball was also told that she couldn’t participate in the graduation ceremony. But school administrators eventually reversed that decision after she got legal representation.

“My journey to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University was not perfect, but I truly believe it was my destiny,” Ball said. “I chose to attend a school that cared about me academically, mentally, and also treated me like family. There is no place in the world like FAMU, and I’m happy I get to begin the next chapter of my life here. Truly a Rattler. Boldly a Rattler. Happy to be a Rattler for life,” she added.

Ball is one of 113 incoming Rattlers who will begin their journey at FAMU this fall as Distinguished Scholar Award recipients. She received more than $1 million in scholarships and 11 college acceptances and has chosen to bring her academic talents to FAMU to study biology and pre-medicine

To qualify as a Distinguished Scholar, incoming high school seniors must have an academic core GPA of 3.5 and a score of 1800 on the SAT or 27 on the ACT. Distinguished Scholars receive a full four-year scholarship that pays for tuition and fees, housing, and meals.

Vice President of Student Affairs William E. Hudson, Jr., said FAMU has always been focused on recruiting students who have achieved academic excellence throughout high school and will continue to ensure the University is obtaining scholars from across the nation.

“Florida A&M University has always recruited the best and brightest students nationally and internationally,” Hudson said. “FAMU provides a quality education which prepares our students for the global market.”

He added, “We have continued to improve our strategies to enroll these academically talented students as demonstrated by the number of Distinguished Scholars admitted to the University. These high caliber students will serve as academic ambassadors of the University and assist in attracting future scholars.”

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