telisha_marshall_web.jpgTelisha Marshall’s parents said she always had dreams of helping others.

“When she was little, she wanted to be a pediatrician,” her mom April Marshall said.

Telisha, 18, moved closer to her dreams recently when she received a Distinguished Scholar Award from Florida A&M University (FAMU) worth $56,044 during the school’s 2012 Miami Scholarship and Recruitment Reception held in north Miami-Dade County.

She “was actually surprised” when her name was called, she said. “I was like, ‘Me?’”

More than 100 guests turned out for a reception at Miami Carol City High School, 4375 Nw 173rd Dr., Miami Gardens, when FAMU officials handed out 15 scholarships worth more than $277,000. Recruiters from the university’s colleges and schools discussed their programs and FAMU Vice President for Student Affairs William Hudson Jr. related his personal story.

“Attending FAMU was the best decision I made in my life,” Hudson said. “To be the best, you have to want to be the best. You have to make sacrifices. What FAMU taught me is if you persevere you will succeed. I was never the smartest person in my class; I just worked hard. FAMU has many people who have many stories.”

Shadae Tomlinson is looking forward to writing her own story. She received a George W. Gore Scholarship worth $8,000 during the reception.

“When my name was called, it kind of caught me off guard,” said Tomlinson, who plans to major in nursing. “I am honored and really appreciate this scholarship.”

Hudson, who also awarded scholarships in Broward County the same day, March 3, told the students that FAMU is a place where each of them will have the opportunity to discover what they can become.

Telisha Marshall’s father Leon told her to make the most of that opportunity and to stay focused and “keep her eyes on the prize” when she makes her way to “the Hill” in the fall to major in pharmacy.

“I want to have an experience at FAMU,” said Telisha, a student at the School for Advanced Studies in Miami. “I feel like it’s more than receiving a good education, I want to embark on internships. I want to be a well-rounded person.”

Among other award recipients, the Presidential Scholarship Award went to Jabria Blackmon, Shakara Davis, Jazmine Alexander, Xerron Mingo and Iqueena Hollis, all of Miami-Dade; and to Rudolph Ford, Sabrina Smith, Leighton Gray and Khambrel Stephens, all of Broward County.

The George W. Gore Scholarship was presented to Miami-Dade students Ashly Andrews, Azimaa Neilly, Michael Trotman, Christopher Johnson, Randall King, Sean McClain, Cazre’ Hill and Alexis Johnson.

The Distinguished Scholar Award went to Telisha Marshall of Miami-Dade and Alana Smith of Broward County.

Photo: Telisha Marshall