Nathaniel M. Kirkland Scholar: Jonah Wood

TERRELL L. BRUCE ​MEMORIAL FUND

Nathaniel Kirkland is a prime example of what it means to put others before yourself. He gave his all to provide a greater quality of life for those less fortunate. He touched many people in both life and death and I hope to capture and pass on the same level of compassion that he shared. I see a lot of what I hope to do in the way Nathaniel lived and I am very serious about making sure I can maintain the same successful and caring mindset. I can relate to many aspects of Nathaniel's life, but the things that strike me the most about him would be his passion for all that he did, the value he held for education, and how he would always strive to help others. 

Nathaniel in many ways showed what it meant to live a happy life while helping people. What I find most inspiring about Nathaniel is that not only did he dedicate much of his time to helping others but he did this while maintaining academic success. I've always liked helping people, but it hadn't been made clear to me until recently, the extent to which I could do this without compromising my own career goals. 


​Going into high school, college didn't seem like something that was practical for me. I come from a single income household where I've seen my mom work many jobs and live paycheck to paycheck to support me and my brother. She did everything in her power to make sure we never felt neglected, while also making sure she was home enough to be around us and make sure we felt loved. I knew it was tough to work as hard as she did and make the choices of what could fit in our budget. It was because of this that I never complained when the things I received for Christmas didn't align with what I wanted or when we couldn't go to the place I wanted to go for my birthday. I knew she was doing her best. I take what jobs I can, such as shoveling snow or house-sitting in order to make money and to take some of the pressure off of my mother. After my brother went to college and needed to rely on her for most of his tuition, I didn't want to depend on my mother to do the same for me, so I didn't put much consideration into going to college. I was content with this idea until my academy pathway at Roxborough revealed my passion for business and my school counselors introduced me to the multitude of financial aid opportunities and scholarships that are available to students with low income or who excel in their academics. 


​- Jonah Wood (Excerpts from personal statement)