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Charles Nelson Kimbrough MAACE Student of the Year Award 2023.jpg

MAACE 2023
Student of the Year

Nelson Kimbrough

Meridian Community College

Nelson Kimbrough, enrolled in HSE Prep Classes at Meridian Community College in June 26, 2022 at the age of 16 after being homeschooled for several years. In less than one year Nelson earned several certifications and credentials. He was enrolled in the SMART Start Course and within one month Nelson had earned a SILVER Level on the NCRC, earned his SMART Start Credential, enrolled in the MIBEST Program and also earned his HSED. 


On August 15, 2022 Nelson begin his career pathway at Meridian Community College in the CTE Welding & Cutting Technology Program.  The CTE Welding Instructors were so impressed with Nelson during the initial campus tour of their facility that they immediately started talking to him about becoming a Welding Instructor because Nelson has a great work ethic.  Although he is very young, Nelson has worked with his father doing everything from laying sheet rock to painting to framing houses to working on car engines.  Needless to say, he is definitely not afraid of a little hard work.

Nelson has a good support system but he was raised by a single-parent, his father, with the help of his paternal grandmother. He had to overcome barriers such as withdrawing from the Public School Setting to being homeschooled.  He has also been dealing with an age barrier because he is unable to work in his chosen profession of Welding until he reaches the age of 18 although he has earned several certifications and certificates.

Nelson earned his HSE in August 2022. Since that time he has completed two semesters of college credit courses in the CTE Welding & Cutting Technolgy Program, earned his OSHA-10 Hour General Industry Certiifcation and was awarded his MIBEST Completers Certificate and Completers Graduation Cord at the High School Equivalency Graduation Ceremony on January 27, 2023.

What about this student's story would inspire other students to work towards earning their HSE?
Although very young (now age 17), Nelson is a motivator and he believes that you don't let anything stop you from reaching your goals.  He has referred several other students to the Adult Education Program since he enrolled and he actually motivated two of his friends, who also earned their HSE at MCC within the last several months, to participate in the HSE Completers Ceremony.  Nelson presented the Prayer at the Graduation Ceremony and he encouraged one of his friends to present the Welcome.  All three of the students continued their Post-Secondary Education at MCC upon earning their HSE.

Nelson plans to continue in the Summer CTE Course for Welding and then earn his Associates Degree from Meridian Community College.  He has already been offered a job as a Welder Offshore once he turns 18.  His ultimate goal is to become the Human Resource Manager of his Father's Industrial Maintenance Business.


I love Nelson's friendly, helpful and encouraging nature towards others. What I love most of all is his smile and BIG hugs that he gives me anytime he sees me on campus or out in the community.  He is one of the most well-mannered, kind-hearted and caring young men that I have ever met at his age.  I know that where ever life takes him, Nelson is going to be successful. 

(information above was taken directly from the nomination submission)

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