WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — A D.C. high school student received the surprise of a lifetime Tuesday.

Alassane Traore, a senior at Friendship Collegiate Academy in Northeast D.C., was recognized for his academic excellence and ability to overcome adversity when he was awarded a full scholarship to attend Hanover College in Indiana.

Traore, 17, bested 150 students from across the country to earn the Benjamin Templeton full-ride scholarship, valued at more than $130,000, which includes tuition, room, board, books and a personal mentor over four years.

Two representatives from Hanover College flew to Friendship Collegiate Academy on Tuesday to hand deliver Traore the scholarship offer — and give him a college sweatshirt — at a surprise presentation during his history class on the fourth floor of the charter school.

School officials said the full-ride was the most generous scholarship ever offered to a Friendship student.

Traore said he’s never felt so supported by any other community in his life.

“My father has been absent throughout most of my life and I’ve been pretty much without a father figure,” Traore said. The teen also has bounced around schools, attending a new one every year of high school.

A school counselor said finances often are the most critical obstacle for low-income, first generation college students.

Traore kept his cool in front of teachers and fellow students throughout the presentation but broke down when he called his mom to tell her of the good news.

WNEW’s Kimberly Suiters contributed to this report. Follow her on Twitter.

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