Nelson McCoy is one of the most important people in my life. His teachings and life lessons have really made an extreme impact on me. He’s an inspiration, I respect him as a father or brother I never had. Mr. McCoy introduced me to thoughts about attending college and furthering my education and leadership opportunities. Despite of the frustrations and all of the harsh criticism, I truly appreciate everything this man has done for me. I graduated with many titles to my name and I am currently a sophomore at the great Bethune Cookman University. I never imagined that I would be where I am today and Mr. McCoy is a huge cause of my well-being today.
As a first generation college student, I grew up in a home where college was a topic that was not brought up often. I knew I was going but I had no one steering me in the direction to make sure that I got there. Under Mr. McCoy’s mentoring and leadership I had all the resources I needed to give me that drive to want to go to college and to do what I needed to do to get there. He would take us on field trips to different colleges such as EWC, UNF, and UF which provided us with the exposure that some of us needed. He would make sure that we had properly registered for important test like the SAT and ACT and that we kept our grades in good standing. Not only did Mr. McCoy prepare us for college, he prepared us for the professional world as well. We would have meetings where we discussed the differences between business casual and business professional, proper preparation for an interview and all the do’s and dont’s when in a professional setting. I am now a 4th year Food Science student at Florida A&M University and much of my success, thus far, is due to the inspiration and motivation given to me by Mr. McCoy.
I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today if it had not been for the guidance and mentor-ship of Nelson McCoy. I am currently a college graduate working in the labor field with political aspirations. Since meeting Mr. McCoy almost eight years ago, I have been able to focus my ambitions and create tangible goals myself in order to properly prepare for an exciting post-graduate life.
While in high school, Mr. McCoy charged me to push myself past the expectations that were common to young black men growing up in Jacksonville. College was always in our discussions and he used whatever motivators he could to inspire myself as well as others. I always knew that I would accomplish great things but I can honestly say that Mr. McCoy help hone my ambitions and funneled them towards collegiate life.
Nelson McCoy is a rare individual and the work that he does on behalf of children in Duval county is priceless. Mr. McCoy came into our children’s lives at a pivotal point in their high school career. Our twin daughters were looking for scholarship opportunities and trying to galvanize their decisions regarding their majors. Nelson introduced them to three “P”‘s…People, Possibilities & Punctuality.
First, he introduced them to “people” (students) who were now in college and who were successfully completing their chosen field of study. For example, Mr. McCoy provided time for the girls to meet with a dynamic young woman attending Howard University who was preparing to begin an internship at Oxford University in England. This young lady was so honest and transparent in her advice and she really helped to open our daughters’ eyes to the “possibilities” that lay before them. One of our daughter’s is considering a career in international law, so Mr. McCoy provided an opportunity for her to meet a local attorney. She was able to pose questions and then to hear ways that she could prepare herself for law school and beyond.
Other “possibilities” that Nelson provided was requiring that the girls find their own scholarships. We met every Sunday for weeks at the downtown library researching local, regional and national scholarships. This dedication paid off as they both received several local scholarships and both received full scholarships to their college of choice: Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Lastly, he taught them the value of punctuality. Nelson was always on time for every meeting and demanded the same from us. Again, it’s a rarity to find someone with such dedication, creativity and desire to see others succeed.
We sincerely thank Mr. McCoy for all that he’s done for our daughters and wish him success in all his future endeavors.