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FTCC Volleyball player Kristen Woods can claim a rare array of achievements.

Her work in the classroom in the Physical Therapy Assistant program has earned her national and regional All-Academic honors.

Thanks to an eligibility extension during the Covid-19 pandemic, she is the volleyball program’s only three-year starter. On the court, her consistent strong performance has made her a two-time all-region honoree and landed her atop the Trojans’ all-time career digs list.

Now the sophomore can add another line to her growing resume. Woods is a recipient of the 2021-22 Tom McLean Ambassador Scholarship, the FTCC Foundation’s most prestigious program.

The Tom McLean Ambassador Scholarship is awarded to a select group of students who, along with receiving a $1,000 scholarship, commit to a year of representing FTCC and participating in events such as campus registration, graduation fairs and the Annual Foundation Chair’s Gala.

Woods, who participated in her high school’s Ambassador program in her hometown of Lincoln, Ala., thought the same skills that have helped her succeed in academics and athletics would serve her well as an Ambassador.

“I felt like I should be a part of (the FTCC Ambassador program) because I have a strong leadership role, I enjoy helping others and talking to others,” Woods said. “I’ve learned that being a hard worker, a team player and being dedicated as a student-athlete will go a long way to being a Student Ambassador because they all tie in together.”

FTCC volleyball player Kristen Woods dives for a ball during a match Sept. 7, 2021. [Photo/Brad Losh]

Each applicant needs two letters of recommendation. Volleyball coach Moe Licardo was thrilled to write one for Woods. And he knows exactly what it takes to be an Ambassador, having been one himself when he was enrolled in Fayetteville Tech’s Electronic Engineering Technology program from 1991-93.

“That was the easiest recommendation letter that I’ve ever had to write,” Licardo said. “Kristen represents the school and the volleyball program with top-notch representation of what we’re about. She’s an amazing young woman who is fantastic in her studies. She’s a great athlete, as well, and a great leader.”

Sandy Ammons, Executive Director for the Foundation, said each class of Ambassadors is selected from a huge pool of applicants.

“The Tom McLean Ambassador Scholarship is the most prestigious scholarship we have,” Ammons said. “We receive more than 100 applications for this scholarship each year and select the top students to represent the college and FTCC Foundation.

“We are excited to have Kristen join us as a 2021-22 Ambassador. She has demonstrated excellence in the classroom and on the court.”