Graduate Profiles: Jeffery Nesbitt, Coolidge High School 

June 12, 2012

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Jeffery Nesbitt describes himself as the “type of guy who loves everything” connected to school. Art, poetry, writing, school newspaper, sports – you name it.

“I’m more of a ‘school guy,’” said Nesbitt, a Coolidge High School senior who will attend North Carolina Central University in the fall. “I have a love of learning and want to learn about everything. ”

That kind of attitude made him a star on the Coolidge Colts football team, which puts academics first. Under the leadership of Coach Natalie Randolph, the nation’s first female high school head football coach, the Colts boasted a 3.068 team grade-point average.

“[Coach Randolph] is coach here for a reason – she’s all about academics,” said Nesbitt who had a 4.0 GPA his senior year. “If you didn’t do well in the classroom, you’re not going out on the field; you’re not suiting up. Sports have helped me strive to be great.”

While Nesbitt wasn’t mandated to attend the team’s regular study hall, he frequently did to help teammates make the grade. “I wanted my friends to play,” said Nesbitt, who took part in the College Summit Peer Leader Summer Program, which partners with schools, school districts and colleges to develop a sustainable model for raising college enrollment rates. “I didn’t want them to sit out.”

Through the College Summit Peer Leader Summer Program, Nesbitt helped facilitate classroom presentations for senior peers where he shared tools on how to get to college and what the summer workshop experience was like.  Nesbitt and other peer leaders conducted several “drives” to get students registered for the SAT and ACT and apply to college.  

Nesbitt lists his team’s appearance in the 2011 Turkey Bowl as greatest high school accomplishment. Formerly a student at Banneker Academic High School, Nesbitt had played football for Dunbar High School (Banneker doesn’t have a team) in 10th grade before enrolling at Coolidge. Two years later, Nesbitt faced his former teammates in the Turkey Bowl, the Thanksgiving Day DCIAA football championships, coming in second place in the District.

“Not too many get to do that – big crowd, big game,” said Nesbitt, who played running back and served as a team captain. “Against all odds, we did it [and made it to the Turkey Bowl].”

Nesbitt, who will play football for NC Central in the fall, hopes to study psychology and business administration in college.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the simple things people do and love having simple conversations with people to see what’s under their skin,” Nesbitt said.

His advice for students entering their freshmen year in DC Public Schools: “Start early,” he said.

“Have an idea of what you want to do. And, get your grades up – a terrible GPA is tough to get over,” Nesbitt said. “Freshman year is critical. Make sure you go to class and involve yourself in everything. Have fun with it – it’s high school – but understand your priorities.”

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