Jeffrey Nelson

Hometown: Chicago, IL

high school: Morgan Park

college: Washington University-St. Louis

MAJOR: Computer Science

"A brainstorm on writer’s block, thoughts are cultivated. Never rush the masterpiece; be found always waiting. To craft a message that travels through the seams of wind, with the strength of an army in the ink of a pen."

Not only are these are the lyrics to the title defining track from Jeff’s debut underground hip hop album, The Medius Theory, but they describe the past years in his life and journey through service and leadership.

Jeff has been fortunate enough to have the support of a large family, but he has witnessed the struggles and hardships of others in his community. This is what has most inspired him to dedicate his talents and passions to helping others. Jeff graduated as the valedictorian of his eighth grade class and went on to attend Morgan Park High School as an International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Scholar.

At Morgan Park, Jeff completed a number of community service activities. He founded a peer tutoring program within his school, mentored students with discipline problems, volunteered at the Washington & Jane Smith Retirement Home, and worked to raise money for Heifer Project International. Jeff has also proved to be a leader among those he served as the president of Morgan Park’s student council and the Junior Deacon board at the Reeds Temple Church of God in Christ. During the summers, Jeff attended the Math and Science for Minority Students program at Phillips Academy Andover, where he was twice elected as class representative, served as the student co-editor of the weekly newsletter, and composed and directed the African American segment of the program’s annual culture-sharing performance.

Most importantly, Jeff’s love for writing and speaking will allow him to remain etched upon the memories of those he has encountered. Many of his friends will describe him as a counselor and motivator, as he is always looking to leave a mark on the lives of those he encounters by helping them to understand themselves and their own potential. Jeff’s love for poetry and hip hop music prompted him to create an Open Mic poetry club in his school that served as a fundraiser for a Hurricane Katrina torn IB school in the Gulf region. He also released his first underground hip hop album to raise money for the same effort.

Jeff’s story is not complete, but it is off to a tremendous start. Through his personal adversity and triumphs, he has learned the invaluable tools that will help him succeed in college and beyond. As he begins the next chapter in his life he urges the people he has had the pleasure of working with over the past 18 years to remember that the bumps along the path of life are just that, bumps – not roadblocks and are merely stepping stones.

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