A Headshot of Tanner Nelson

Recipient of 2022 Bradley-Turner Leadership Scholarship announced 

Tanner Nelson, a first-year student from Columbus, has been named the 2022 Bradley-Turner Leadership Scholar at the University of Georgia. The scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding students who exhibit superior leadership capabilities while in high school and who aspire to be student leaders at UGA.  

Nelson graduated from Columbus High School in May 2022. During his high school career, he demonstrated an extensive record of leadership, founding the Helping Hands Homeless Street Ministry at his local church—an organization that distributes toiletries, first-aid kits, and meals to people experiencing homelessness. He also served as Lead Speaker and Advisor in Teen Advisors, President of Junior Civitan, President of his city’s Youth Advisory Council, and Teen Leader of Community Warriors.  Nelson passionately pursued causes that uplifted and empowered those in his community. Causes such as youth literacy projects, helping the homeless, assisting large food drives in food deserts, and advocating for needs in the local school systems. Perhaps most notably, Nelson conducted a book drive where he incentivized his school’s homerooms to compete in collecting books, and then donated the 5,000 collected to places in need such as local homeless shelters and the Boys and Girls Club. Nelson also strived to empower his global community by leading a school supply drive for areas in the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.  

“Throughout my life, various experiences and events have shaped my leadership abilities and development to mold me into the best type of leader: the servant leader. I’ve learned that positive reinforcement is the best way to bond with others around you when it comes to being a servant leader so that projects can go smoothly. Lessons and experiences like this will allow me to become a better leader going forward into the University of Georgia as they have taught valuable lessons of earned respect rather than expected respect,” he said.   

Nelson grew up near Georgia’s Fort Benning military base and is an avid sports fan. These two seemingly unrelated facts mean that he has witnessed both injured athletes and military veterans, sparking a deep interest in learning how he could help. These experiences have steered him towards considering a career as an Orthopedic Surgeon, continuing his legacy of making the world around him a better place. 

The Bradley-Turner Leadership Scholars Program provides a $10,000 annual award with an additional $1,000 annual enhancement for leadership development activities for a total of four years of full-time undergraduate study. Scholarship applications for 2023 are now open. The scholarship is administered through the Engagement, Leadership, and Service department within UGA Student Affairs.  

Contact: Lori Crawford, 706-542-6396, lori.crawford@uga.edu 

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