Cullman’s Townley Cornelius awarded AmFirst, WBRC FOX 6 Rising Star scholarship

Townley Cornelius (contributed)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – America’s First Federal Credit Union (AmFirst)- alongside partner WBRC FOX 6- on Tuesday announced the winners of its 11th Annual Rising Star scholarship program.

Seniors Townley Cornelius, Cullman High School; Isabel Elkus, Mountain Brook High School; Abigail Heuton, Montevallo High School; Tavaria Johnson, Childersburg High School; and Marques McKinney, Clay-Chalkville High School, each received a $5,000 scholarship to go toward a college or university of their choice.

These five seniors were selected out of 30 area students honored from Sept. 5, 2019 – April 16, 2020 as part of AmFirst’s Rising Star program. Since 2009, AmFirst has awarded $139,000 to local students.

“We are thrilled to again support young men and women making a difference in their communities and look forward to seeing all that they achieve in years to come,” said Bill Connor, president/CEO of AmFirst.

Central Alabama students are first nominated by their high school counselors, principals, teachers or coaches — with one student selected as a Rising Star each week for 30 weeks. All 30 student finalists then participate in panel interviews judged on Professionalism, Vision, Community Involvement and Overall Impression. The top five combined scores indicate the students who will receive the available $5,000 scholarships.

This year, 2020, represents the fifth year of Rising Star program alignment between AmFirst and WBRC FOX 6. In past years, all 30 Rising Star students have participated in panel interviews onsite at WBRC FOX 6, however, due to COVID-19, many students had to film interviews at home and submit to the station for outside panel judging.

“WBRC is a fantastic partner, and we thank them for their ongoing collaboration to make our selections happen, despite any previously unforeseen barriers caused by COVID-19,” added Connor. “We congratulate all of our Rising Stars and wish them long, happy and successful professional futures.”