It is always a privilege watching Excel Academy South, an Opportunity Network high school that partners with the School District of Philadelphia, students shine. Our team couldn’t be prouder of Jerusha Nelson for being named Senior of the Month by the District.

Nelson’s family immigrated to the U.S. five years ago from Pakistan and they appreciate the educational opportunities afforded to her since they arrived in the Philadelphia area. Nelson came to Excel Academy South after a recommendation from her principal at another school, who suggested an educational program more closely aligned with her goals.

“I’m so grateful that they helped me make the move here, since I could graduate early and that helped me get to my goal of joining the United States Air Force,” she said in an interview with the District. “The principal gave me this choice. So initially it was about accelerating but it turned out to be a really good idea for so many other reasons.”

Jarrad Muller, executive director at Excel Academy South, told the School District that he can’t say enough about Nelson’s outstanding personality, dedication and commitment.

“Putting in the efforts to do the work, to conquer the language barrier, to get through the pandemic and her own personal life … She’s just done a great job getting to that next level. Her smile and attitude makes everyone here feel the worth of what we’re doing.”

The admiration is mutual and Nelson is excited to show other students what is possible in life. “Once I get my (Air Force) uniform, the first place I’m coming is here, to show everyone that if you put the effort in, you can do anything.”

Read the full interview between the School District of Philadelphia and Nelson here.