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Student wins scholarship then uses savings to help another student go to college

Joshua Nelson had been saving for college but when he earned a scholarship, he decided to use his savings to help another student go to college

ST CHARLES, Mo. — At St. Charles West High School, one of the best teachers may just be a student.

"He just has a heart for people," said Yolanda Curry, the school counselor.

Joshua Nelson, 18, is getting ready to graduate.

"I plan to go to Southeast Missouri State and go into their pre-optometry program. I'll be majoring in bio-medical sciences," he said.

What Josh didn't say is that SEMO offered him a scholarship.

That will happen when you're an excellent student, a three-year varsity basketball player and president of the school's Multi-Cultural Achievement Committee.

"The mission of it is to encourage students of color to maximize their potential and to become college and career ready," Curry said.

They work on resume writing, interviewing skills and even strategies for their college admission tests. But all that preparation couldn't prepare the students or teachers for Josh's recent announcement.

"I was really just blown away because I was not expecting that," Curry said with a laugh.

Josh saved up more than $1,000 for college but since he earned a scholarship, he's decided to use his savings to help another student go to college.

"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."

"I just think it's unbelievable what he's doing and it's really exciting," 11th grader Lea Mitchell said.

Students all want to do well on their math and history tests but Josh just aced a test of character.

"I really thought it was important to give back to my community that poured in so much to me," Nelson said.

Over the next few weeks with some help from his parents and teachers, he'll be accepting applications for this special scholarship, with the hope that some donors will help the thousand dollars multiply.

"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."

One high school senior with ambition and compassion. Getting ready to move forward by giving back.

"We're extremely proud of him," Curry said.

If you would like to donate electronically to the Joshua Nelson Scholarship In Action Scholarship fund, click here.

If you would like to donate to the scholarship fund via check or money order, please make it payable to:

St. Charles West High School
(Please also write in the lower lefthand corner "JN Scholarship" )

Please mail your donation to the address listed below:

St. Charles West High School
Attn: Yolanda Curry
3601 Droste Road
St. Charles, MO 63301