During his final years at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Wesley Porter dedicated much of his time preparing for college. He spent hours online, gathering information on the necessary steps in filling out college and financial aid applications and researching recommendations on how to complete them quickly and efficiently. He even attended multiple college fairs and consulted college admissions personnel to devise the best way to approach the application process.
One of his most significant tips, however, came from someone a little closer to home.
Wesley’s father, who works at the Tennessee Nissan plant in Smyrna, received a memo announcing the scholarship program and passed the information along to Wesley. He eagerly applied and in May 2011, Wesley learned he was selected as the leadership winner for the Nissan Scholar Scholarship Program, earning him a $3,750 scholarship.
The Nissan awards up to three renewable scholarships each year to children of Nissan employees who work full-time at eligible manufacturing plants located in Middle Tennessee. Applicants must be high school seniors, have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher and demonstrate community involvement and academic achievement.
According to Wesley, winning the Nissan scholarship greatly impacts his ability to obtain a first-rate education without acquiring student loan debt. The nineteen year old is currently enjoying exploring his options while studying Chemistry at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
“It's my hope that I can someday repay this scholarship back to my community by being the example my teachers were to me,” Wesley said.
While plans for his future are still up in the air – his career interests range from teaching at the collegiate level to practicing law – Wesley says he always strives to live according to his personal motto “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained” as he feels that mindset is instrumental to his success.
“My advice to others who seek success in life, no matter what form or shape it may take, is to take that step forward even when you're unsure where it might lead you,” Wesley said. “No one great ever got anywhere by sitting on their front porch.”