A Missouri high school senior has made headlines for his huge-hearted response to earning a college scholarship. Having saved over $1,000 of his own money toward college, the teen decided to gift the money to another student in need.
Joshua Nelson, 18, a senior at St. Charles West High School, is hoping that a donation drive will see his $1,000 multiply. Naming the fund The Joshua Nelson Leaders in Action Scholarship, he hopes that by gathering support and momentum, it will become an annual affair.
With help from his parents and teachers, Nelson will field applications from multicultural students, reported KSDK.
“I really thought it was important to give back to my community that poured in so much to me,” he told KSDK.
“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.”
Nelson plans to attend Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) in the fall to enter their pre-optometry program, majoring in biomedical sciences.
A three-year veteran of varsity basketball and president of St. Charles West’s Multicultural Achievement Committee, Nelson was named one of five recipients of the college’s prestigious President’s Scholarship, worth $43,000, according to a statement.
SEMO president Dr. Carlos Vargas said in a statement that all recipients stand out for their “excellence and drive.”
“I can’t wait to see what they do here at Southeast and beyond,” Vargas added.
Nelson’s classmates are already touched by their fellow senior’s desire to pay it forward by donating his personal college savings, reported KSDK.
Classmate Harmony Hudson praised Nelson for inspiring others. “I don’t even think he realizes that he’s doing that much for everyone else as well,” Hudson told the outlet.
School counselor Yolanda Curry told KSDK the mission of the school’s Multicultural Achievement Committee is to encourage students to “maximize their potential,” including preparing for college and beyond by writing resumés and practicing for admission interviews.
Yet Curry claimed Nelson’s generosity went above and beyond her expectations. The senior has “a heart for people,” she said.
Local nonprofit We Love St. Charles also caught wind of Nelson’s scholarship and interviewed the senior for their Facebook channel.
Nelson said in the interview the Joshua Nelson Leaders in Action Scholarship is aimed at teens who display “great qualities in and outside the classroom.”
The young man said he himself believes that, “being a man of God,” it’s important to be a cheerful giver. As he heads off to college in the fall, the scholarship is the legacy he leaves behind.
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