Joshua Nelson, a senior at St. Charles West High School in Missouri, got some good news recently when he learned that he had earned a full-ride scholarship to Southeast Missouri State University.
Nelson was one of just five students out of 288 applications that were selected for the prestigious President’s Scholarship at the university.
So, with his tuition and board covered for four years he decided to try to help another student make their college dreams come true by giving away his meager college savings as a starter donation and create The Joshua Nelson Leaders in Action Scholarship where others can add to the college fund.
“I feel like it’s important to be involved in your community and leaving a legacy,” the 18-year-old told We Love St. Charles, a local non-profit community outreach organization.
“I really thought it was important to give back to my community that poured in so much to me,” Nelson, a member of the National Honor Society, three-year varsity basketball player and president of the school’s Multi-Cultural Achievement Committee, told KDSK News. “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 Joshua Nelson Leaders in Action Scholarship says its goal is “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 one of Nelson’s classmates, 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.”
Nelson is hoping to inspire local businesses and other people to match his starting donation so he can help out several students with college tuition. Those interested in donating can give online through the school’s website.