• CMS student earns first college scholarship at 12 years old

    By: Erica Bryant


    A gifted Charlotte-Mecklenburg seventh-grade student is celebrating a huge achievement: earning his first college scholarship.

    Blake Mangum, 12, attends Druid Hills Academy. He is at the top of his class academically and plays basketball, football and an instrument in band.

    “I want to be a scientist, and an NFL player and go to the military and the college I want to attend is Clemson or Alabama,” Blake said.

    His hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed and it led his teachers to choose him for the Victor Bell Scholarship, which is awarded to only 10 middle school students in North Carolina.

    [Victor Bell Scholarship]

    The scholarship accrues $2,000 a year starting now and through their final year of college. The recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher and good behavior.

    Counselor Tiari Gladney said Blake is on the right track.

    “He is always involved, shows initiative, he is well-rounded and he has some awesome grades,” Gladney said.

    Blake said none of this would be possible without the support of his mother and grandmother.

    “He is a loving boy, not just in school, in church, acolyte, usher, he does it all,” grandmother Carolyn Harrison said.

    Harrison taught him about faith, discipline and hard work. Now it’s paying off for his education.

    “There’s all kind of money out there. You’ve just got to be ready to earn it,” Harrison said.

    The Victor Bell Scholarship is awarded by College Foundation Incorporated and it’s named in honor of a former Board of Trustees chairman.

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