Charles (“C.J.”) Nessralla with Gov. Charlie Baker at the State House
UMass Medical School student Charles (“C.J.”) Nessralla was among three of the extraordinary “29 Who Shine” students honored by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education who were featured in a May 6 column in the Boston Globe. Nessralla, who graduates next month, was lauded for completing his studies while fostering, and ultimately adopting, two at-risk inner city children he met as a Big Brother volunteer while still an undergraduate at Northeastern University. The editorial focused on students like Nessralla who have achieved great things despite financial and other challenges.
“Besides earning spectacular grades, many of these students took on burdens that would break the rest of us,” wrote Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham. “If these and the others honored Friday achieved this much with their crushing schedules and financial burdens, imagine what they could have done if their schools had been better supported. . . . Our students are already giving Massachusetts so much.”
In addition to maintaining academic excellence and his family commitments, Nessralla has taken leadership roles in international public health and medical missions, volunteered with developmentally disabled adults in the Best Buddies program, and tutored high school students aspiring to careers in health care.
Nessralla will graduate from the School of Medicine on Sunday, June 3, and begin residency training in orthopedic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in July.