Joshua Nelson, a senior at St. Charles West High School, donated the $1,000 he saved for college to another student in need.
One senior from St. Charles West High School is giving back! Joshua Nelson has got a scholarship to Southeast Missouri State and has decided to donate his college savings to another high school senior. A total of 288 people applied for the scholarship and only 100 applicants made it to the interview round. He was one of only the five students selected for the prestigious President's Scholarship at the university, valued at $43,000. It will cover tuition and boarding for four years as long as Nelson meets the annual renewal criteria, reports CNN. Nelson is now donating the $1,000 he saved for college to another student in need.
'I wanted to give back': High school senior donates his college savings to another student in need after being awarded a full-ride scholarship to Southeast Missouri State University— Elisabeth Ragan (@elisabethrragan) May 12, 2021
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“I really thought it was important to give back to my community that poured in so much to me,” Nelson told KDSK. “Honestly, it makes me feel on top of the world. The fact that I can just help somebody a little bit makes me feel great and I really want to see other people succeed." The 18-year-old also started The Joshua Nelson Leaders in Action Scholarship, which aims “to help multicultural students who are showing leadership, community service and just have great qualities in and out of the classroom.” "I think he's an inspiration to some of the other people at the school especially students of color," said classmate Harmony Hudson. "I don't even think he realizes that he's doing that much for everyone else as well." Yolanda Curry, the school counselor, added, "He just has a heart for people."
A little about more Nelson - according to the university, he is "president of the Minority Achievement Committee (MAC) and members of the varsity basketball team. He is a huddle leader for the Fellow of Christian Athletes, and member of the National Honor Society, National Society of Black Engineers and Black Student Union. He also is a participant of the BEST Pharmacy Summer Institute and University of Missouri-St. Loui Bridge Program. He has been active in his local community as a tutor for the Boys and Girls Club of St. Charles County and volunteer for the Refuge and Restoration Mobile Food Market. He hopes to use his passion for biomedical engineering and healthcare to thrive in Southeast’s biomedical sciences program and to, one day, pursue a career in optometry. Nelson’s parents are Eric and Joy Nelson."
The teen, who will begin his undergraduate studies at Southeast Missouri this fall, hopes that local businesses will match his donation and make it an annual scholarship. "I feel like it's important to be involved in your community and leaving a legacy," he told We Love St. Charles, a local non-profit community outreach organization. "I wanted to give back to my community by creating this scholarship fund, and hopefully, by me leaving this legacy, it encourages other students to leave a legacy as well." He told We Love St. Charles that his dream for The Joshua Nelson Leaders in Action Scholarship is for it to be funded for years to come.
The scholarship fund is being managed through the MAC program, and donors can give online through the school's website. The donation will help provide for graduating seniors that have demonstrated academic excellence, good citizenship, community involvement and leadership, according to the site. They also accept non-monetary donations from "any individual, company or other entity that would like to support our youth by donating time, materials, supplies or even experiences."