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Central High senior selected for Mercer's Griffith Scholars Program | Community Spirit

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Central High senior selected for Mercer's Griffith Scholars Program
Central High senior selected for Mercer's Griffith Scholars Program

Central High art student and honor graduate Leslie Gabrielle Carter is on her way to becoming a medical student through the help of Mercer University trustee, alumnus and Macon business man Benjamin W. Griffith III, who funds the Griffith Scholarship. The Griffith Scholars Program enables gifted graduates from Bibb County high schools who demonstrate financial need to obtain the premier education available at Mercer. The scholarship is offered each year to 6 to 10 seniors who plan to attend Mercer.

While at Central, Leslie was a member of both the school's Art Club and Key Club, and she was involved in the school's International Bachelorette (IB) program. She was active with the Upward Bound program and is also involved with the youth at her church. She currently serves as a mentor to two home-schooled girls whom she teaches art and Spanish. She also volunteers at Carlyle Place and Manna Ministries, a nonprofit organization that works to enrich the community with programs to aid the needs of youth and families.

She plans on attending Mercer University to double major in studio art and nursing, with a minor in Spanish. She also plans to attend graduate school to receive her master's degree in nursing to either become a clinical nurse specialist or a nurse practitioner. She hopes to combine her love of art and medicine to conduct medical illustrations and visual art therapy as well.

The Griffith Scholarship will cover Leslie’s tuition, room and board, and other fees for four years. She said receiving this scholarship relieves her of stress and allows her to focus on her studies. Being awarded this scholarship also allows her to explore resources she would never have been able to, such as studying abroad.

“One of the characteristics I most admire about her is the thoughtful, personal quality of her work. Yes, she has excellent technique, but she also has important things to say, ideas that she finds important to communicate. She's really mature beyond her years. I'm so proud of all of her accomplishments. She is humble and soft-spoken, but very driven and hardworking,” said Sherrie Jamison, a Central art teacher. “She is really excited about going to Mercer to pursue her passion for both medicine and art. I think they are great combinations.”

Leslie received the Silver Key at the Scholastics Art and Writing competition hosted by Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013. In March, she won first place at the 11th annual Protégé Competition and Exhibition hosted by the Museum of Arts and Science.

Her IB art exhibit was held earlier this month, where she displayed 13 pieces of her artwork. Her artwork portrays her spirituality, African heritage and life in the South, she said.

Leslie is a 2014 Peyton Anderson Scholar. She is also a recipient of the City of Macon Scholarship, Horatio Alger Scholarship and the AKA Eddye Mae Booth Leadership Promise Award.

- Emily Brunner

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