Learning about Nathaniel has shown me that if I give back to the community, positive things will happen, not only for others, but for myself, as well. Nathaniel loved helping the community and will always be remembered for his selfless acts of service. Nathaniel’s story has given me motivation to help others and the strength to move forward towards my future goals, regardless of life’s challenges. For example, I don’t want to be vain or worry about achieving my dream, so I started working at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children every Friday for in-school work service. This program is designed for students who want to pursue careers in the medical field. Also, I joined my church’s youth advisory committee, which is known for giving back to families with low incomes. Through my church, I play with the children from the neighborhood and give supplies to the kids when it’s time to go back to school and during the summer. Also, when I was a sophomore, I joined another youth advisory group through the Philadelphia Education Fund. During our meetings, we learned about how to get ready for college and how to sign up for financial aid. Students from different schools from across the Philadelphia area would come together as one, despite our differences.

​I would receive this scholarship with the most appreciation because it would mean helping my mother and giving back to her for all of her support when times were tough. The best gift I can give her is not burdening her with college financial issues. Earning the Nathaniel Kirkland Scholarship would show her that our struggles were worth it, and there are more good things in store for us in the future.

- Tablica Ali (Excerpts from personal statement)

Nathaniel M. Kirkland Scholar: Tablica Ali