Joshua Nelson has been accepted to Southeast Missouri State University on a full-ride scholarship. Now, the Missouri native wants to help another high school senior by donating his college savings.
Nelson, a senior at St. Charles West High School, was chosen as one of only five students to receive the university’s coveted President’s Scholarship. According to the City of St Charles School District, a total of 288 people applied.
This $43,000 scholarship will cover tuition and boarding for four years if Nelson meets the annual renewal requirements. And now that it’s paid for, the 18-year-old has agreed to donate the $1,000 he had set aside for college to a deserving student.
“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.
Nelson said he started The Joshua Nelson Leaders in Action Scholarship “to help multicultural students who are showing leadership, community service and just have great qualities in and out of the classroom.”
Nelson has served in a variety of leadership positions throughout his high school career and assists other students in achieving their goals. According to the school’s website, he is the Multicultural Achievement Council (MAC) president, a program that enables traditionally under-represented students to improve their academic potential and become college- and career-ready.
He is also a member of the National Honor Society, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the Black Student Union. Outside of the classroom, Nelson was a member of the varsity basketball team at his high school and tutored children at the Boys and Girls Club in his neighborhood.
Nelson hopes that local companies and others will be motivated to match his initial donation, allowing the new scholarship to benefit a larger number of students.
The school and the MAC program will be in charge of managing the fund. Donors can contribute to the school’s cause by going to the school’s website and making an online donation.
“I think he’s an inspiration to some of the other people at the school especially students of color,” Harmony Hudson, a classmate of Nelson, told CNN affiliate KDSK. “I don’t even think he realizes that he’s doing that much for everyone else as well.”
Nelson will begin his undergraduate studies in the biomedical sciences program at Southeast Missouri State University this fall. He intends to continue his studies while he pursues an optometry career.
His hope for The Joshua Nelson Leaders in Action Scholarship, he told We Love St. Charles, is for it to be sponsored for years to come.