'It's really possible now': Scholarship removes educational barrier for local teen

Venus Morris Griffin, left, and Kimberly Mazurek hug on May 14, 2020, when Griffin presented...
Venus Morris Griffin, left, and Kimberly Mazurek hug on May 14, 2020, when Griffin presented Mazurek with a $1,000 scholarship.(WRDW)
Published: May. 14, 2020 at 1:18 PM EDT
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Thursday, May 1, 2020

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- In a time when many high school seniors are in despair, one had her dreams come true when she was surprised with a check for $10,000.

Aquinas High School salutatorian Kimberly Mazurek wasn't sure she'd be able to go to Georgia Tech in the fall due to financial concerns.

“I've been having just some doubts about going to Tech. And I feel like it's really possible now,” Mazurek said. “This is definitely gonna really help me.”

The scholarship is one of two that real estate mogul Venus Morris Griffin is awarding to students who have overcome adversity.

“I wanted to help children who by no fault of their own went through devastation. 47 and education is the key to rising above everything. Kimberly has a 4.85 on a 4.5 scale -- No. 2 in her class. She has overcome her own share of adversity that she wants to keep private.”

Griffin says to be able to give back feels amazing -- especially since she knows what it's like to be in a tough place.

“I speak all over the country sharing my story of overcoming adversity, and raising six children as a single mom,” she said. “To be able to give back is -- it's priceless.”

The second scholarship will be awarded to a student who has an incarcerated parent.

Applications for that one are still open -- and can be found at


“It's a prayer being answered -- for financial reasons,” said the salutatorian’s mother, Beth Mazurek. “We're very grateful that this opportunity has come up. She's extremely deserving. She has worked hard. She has maintained the No. 2 spot at Aquinas since she's been a freshman. She definitely deserves it because she works hard.”

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