Hamilton senior’s Flinn Scholarship more than magic The Chandler Arizonan

Hamilton senior’s Flinn Scholarship more than magic

Hamilton senior’s Flinn Scholarship more than magic

By Kevin Reagan
Arizonan Staff Writer

In his scholarship application to the Flinn Foundation, Maxwell Bregman was asked to imagine the title of his own autobiography.

The 18-year-old Hamilton High School student pondered the question and crafted a suitable response: “If You Want Something, You Have to Work for It.”

The fake book title was meant to encompass the grit and tenacity Maxwell has been deploying while tackling his long list of endeavors.

Tennis, photography and Model United Nations club are some of the activities that have occupied Maxwell’s time on top of his full academic schedule of Advanced Placement classes.

“I like to push myself with whatever I do,” the high school student said.

Now he can add Flinn Scholar to his list of accomplishments after becoming one of only 19 seniors in Arizona’s Class of 2020 to win the prestigious scholarship.

Maxwell’s diverse interests in and outside the classroom must have appealed to the Flinn Foundation, since Bregman was recently awarded a free scholarship to Arizona State University that covers all four years of tuition, lodging, meals and related expenses.

He also will participate in a three-week summer seminar; will have a chance to study abroad for a time later in their university career; get personal mentoring from top faculty and exposure to Arizona and global leaders in business, government, science, and the arts; and be part of a community of about 650 current and former Flinn Scholars.

Maxwell was one of 1,014 students in Arizona to apply for the highly-coveted scholarships – which are only awarded to usually no more than 20 top students in Arizona high schools and can be used for any of the three state universities.

Beyond his school pursuits, Maxwell also co-owns a DJ business with a friend and regularly puts on magic shows for large crowds of spectators.

He’s spent years building up his repertoire of tricks, knowing that good magicians had to put in the work if they wanted to earn the audience’s respect.

Maxwell said he’s excited to start his studies next year at ASU, but he’s equally thrilled about the networking opportunities offered by the Flinn Foundation.

He now belongs to an exclusive club of talented scholars who can help open doors and share expertise in their respective fields.

As soon as he found out he was a Flinn finalist, he said he began thinking how it might benefit his long-term goals of becoming an entrepreneur.

“I was very excited because of the networking capabilities from it,” Maxwell said

The teen hopes to start his own tech company within the next five years, which is why he plans to study engineering or computer science at ASU.

The university has lots of resources for aspiring entrepreneurs, he noted, making it his top choice among Arizona’s three public universities.

This past year, Maxwell’s been flexing his business skills by forming a local chapter of Launch X, a national organization that teaches high school students how to start their own businesses.

The club unexpectedly lost its financial support early on, forcing him to find ways to innovatively supplement the resources they had expected to receive.

It ended up being a great learning lesson, Maxwell said, as it pushed them to almost educate themselves about the business world.

Maxwell’s may seem to be all about business, but his first passion in life was more of a disappearing act.

His grandparents gave him a magic kit when he was 5 and he quickly became enamored by the process of creating the perfect illusion.

Maxwell said he was always curious to know how every magic trick was done. He wasn’t so much dazzled by the spectacle of rabbits appearing out of hats, as was interested in observing how the human mind is manipulated into believing the facade.

When he’s able to change an audience member’s perspective, Maxwell said, that’s when the magic really becomes exciting.

“I really like the psychology aspect behind that,” he said.

His favorite magic trick involves getting three spectators to volunteer three random numbers. Maxwell multiplies them together and his assistant then pulls out a book.

If the number is 29, then Maxwell guesses the 29th word listed on the 29th line of the book’s 29th page.   

“That one’s probably my favorite one to do,” he said.

Even though Maxwell has big dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, he hopes to always keep up his magic and continue learning new tricks.

“It’s kind of a stress-reliever for me,” he said.

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