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Free college tuition for two William Blount High seniors thanks to Air Force

The scholarship focuses on character, leadership, citizenship, and diversity and inspires future leaders to seek careers in the U.S. Air Force or U.S. Space Force.
Air Force Pays for Full Ride
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 11:28 PM EST
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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Two William Blount High School seniors don’t have to worry about paying for college tuition.

Alcione Garbacki and Zack Ramage-Cooper got college, textbooks and housing taken care of thanks to a U.S. Air Force Scholarship called J-100 AFJROTC Character-in-Leadership Scholarship.

The scholarship focuses on character, leadership, citizenship, and diversity and inspires future leaders to seek careers in the U.S. Air Force or U.S. Space Force.

“I know these kids because I’ve been with them for four years so I know that that’s a person. If I were in the Air Force right now, that’s who I’d want to work with,” explained Carmella Lawson, the students’ senior aerospace science instructor and a retired Air Force colonel. “I’m very, very proud of these two for earning that.”

William Blount High School leaders could only nominate two students, and both got selected.

More than 400 students applied worldwide, and 100 got chosen overall.

“It means a lot for me just because I didn’t really have a college fund growing up. So it kind of proves your hard work pays off.” said Garbacki.

Both Garbacki and Ramage-Cooper will be in the ROTC in college and will enter the Air Force as an officer when they graduate.

“It [excitement] still comes in waves,” said Ramage-Cooper. “It’s really hard to believe that the next four years of my life is completely paid for.”

Garbacki will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and plans to be a pilot for the Air Force after she graduates.

Ramage-Cooper plans to go to The Citadel and wants to be a mechanical engineer for the Air Force after he graduates.

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