DeKalb, IL — When 18-year-old Joshua Nelson discovered that his college costs were covered by a scholarship, he decided to pay it forward.
Nelson initially saved $1,000 to go towards his college expenses but soon found out that he was awarded a President’s Scholarship in the amount of $43,000 from Southeast Missouri State University.
This prompted Nelson to use his savings to create a new fund to help pay for another student’s college tuition.
“So, I started a scholarship fund called the Joshua Nelson Leaders In Action Scholarship, and basically it's a fund to help multicultural students who are showing leadership, who are showing community service and just have great qualities in and outside of the classroom,” Nelson told We Love St. Charles.
He is asking for contributions towards the new endowment fund with the hopes that the $1,000 starting pool will expand to a number much greater. He also plans to continue to fund the scholarship throughout college and beyond.
Nelson is on the varsity basketball team as well as president of his school’s Multicultural Achievement Committee, which helps students of color focus on resume writing, college test preparation and interview techniques. In the fall, Nelson plans on studying pre-optometry as a biomedical sciences major.
"Honestly, it makes me feel on top of the world,” Nelson said, according to Blavity News. “The fact that I can just help somebody a little bit makes me feel great and I really want to see other people succeed."