2019 Tillman Scholar

Nathan Jester

Marine Corps
Harvard University

“I’m dedicated to serving the community that raised me and embodying the most important lesson I’ve learned over the years: leaders solve problems.”


Nate had a few goals when he left Atlanta, Georgia at age 18: to see the world, to be a Marine like his father and to learn to lead. The first stop on his journey was the U.S. Naval Academy, where he graduated with honors and a B.S. in Political Science and Economics.Next, in the Marine Corps, where Nate served five years in the infantry, his goals evolved as he learned the value of selfless service, problem solving and teamwork.

Nearly a decade after his departure from Atlanta, Nate plans to return home and dedicate his life to serving the community that raised him using the tools he has picked up along the way.

With this goal in mind, Harvard Law School became the next stop on the journey. Law school has given Nate the words to describe the issues of education, crime and poverty he witnessed growing up and an understanding of the legal and political systems that perpetuate those issues.

Through his coursework and current role as a student attorney serving poor communities, Nate’s passion for service has been sharpened into a focus on education, crime prevention, housing and transportation. As an aspiring public servant in the Atlanta city government, Nate will use his legal experiences and the problem-solving approach that helped him succeed in the military to continue his trend of service and leadership.