London Calling: Nate Jo

by Frances Badgett

Richland-born Nate Jo attended Hanford High School after years of homeschooling, and immediately ran for a leadership position in the ASB (Associated Student Body). Brand-new to the school, he managed to win his election. From that moment, leadership has appealed to Nate, and he has served on the WWU AS, as student trustee on the Board of Trustees, and as captain of the swim team.

Nate’s accomplishments don’t stop there. Next year he plans to attend The London School of Economics, and recently he was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. An experience he calls “intense, exciting, inspiring.” He was in a cohort of finalists from Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton.

“The whole experience changed how I saw myself. I saw what I was capable of.”

A rival experience that bolstered Nate’s sense of accomplishment was leading the Western swim club to nationals in Arizona.

“There were former Olympians and teams from all over. Swim team has been a core part of my time at WWU.”

He loved Western from the beginning.

“The sense of place, beauty, the connection to the land with our Indigenous neighbors enables opportunities like the Salish Sea Institute.”

Unlike so many with these accolades, Nate didn’t receive financial support from his family—he paid his way through Western with scholarships.

“I’m so grateful to donors. It’s hard for me to create words for how grateful I am. They don’t get to see their impact on a daily basis, but whether they’ve given $100 or $100,000, their support unlocked everything within me that I was capable of. I was able to be involved with The Trevor Project and swimming, the Rhodes Scholarship, the BOT—all of it was because of scholarships.”

Nate’s ultimate goal? To make a lasting impact on his community and the world. With his drive for leadership balanced with thoughtful community-minded activism, he will get there.