Mazingo awarded prestigious Rising Star scholarship 

Published 3:40 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2024

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Jemison High School graduate Brody Mazingo was one of six individuals awarded the prestigious Rising Star scholarship by America’s First Federal Credit Union (AmFirst) and WBRC Fox 6. The announcement on May 29 recognized exceptional high school students across Birmingham for their academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities and community involvement during the 2023-2024 academic year.

“We are extremely proud of the Rising Star Scholarship Program and this year’s class of honorees,” Bill Connor, President and CEO of AmFirst, said in a press release. “Over the past 15 years, the program has recognized over 200 outstanding students who will make up the next generation of leaders in our communities.”

Mazingo was awarded the $5,000 scholarship following an extensive process that included hundreds of applications from students applying for the funds. Jemison High School counselor Brittany Oglesby, Mazingo’s counselor throughout his time at JHS, nominated him for the scholarship and helped him navigate through the process. Of the hundreds of applications received by the program each week, only 30 candidates were selected to participate in the final interviews.

Mazingo and the other 29 candidates completed the interview at the WBRC news station, and it was recorded to score candidates based on their interview overall and their answers during it. All 30 candidates gathered at the end of the year banquet in May, and all were recognized for being finalists for the scholarships. Then, the six winners were announced.

The final interviews were done in groups, and a person from Mazingo’s group was called forward as one of the winners. This led him to believe he would not receive it if they were choosing one person from each interview group.

“I was sitting (at the banquet) with my counselor and parents, and I was not expecting to hear my name,” Mazingo said. “I thought they only took one from each group, so I was like ‘Okay, that is fine,’ and it was still an amazing experience. When they called my name, I just looked up to the skies because I knew it was a God thing, and I just give him all the praise and glory for that.”

Mazingo was joined by the other five winners of the $5,000 scholarships that will support their academic endeavors in the future. For Mazingo, those include attending The University of Alabama this fall as he starts his freshman year majoring in Political Science. He added that he may double major in Business with a concentration in Leadership Communication on the pre-law track as well.

“Thank you so much to the AmFirst family and Mr. Bill Connor for making this all possible,” Mazingo said. “It was just an amazing experience, and I cannot wait to see other people from Chilton County get nominated and potentially get scholarships because it puts you out there to the world.”