Panther-lair - A special honor for Nelms
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A special honor for Nelms

Bryce Nelms saw a problem and took action.

Students at West Orange High School in New Jersey are going to benefit for a long time from the future Pitt defensive end’s ingenuity.

“I have a close friend and schoolmate named Mya Bembry (Penn State WBB c/o 2023) that I worked with on this project,” Nelms told Thursday morning. “We both played sports at West Orange and frequently stayed after school late at times to train. The project was developed when we realized there is no bus shelter or light near the WOHS athletic fields when practices end. We came up with the idea of a solar-powered bus shelter and built a prototype in our engineering and design solutions class.

“The bus shelter uses solar power to provide light for students awaiting transportation, as well as charging ports to replenish dead cell phone batteries. Last year New Jersey Transit facilities planners and engineers came to see our work and applauded our efforts. They said we identified a real world problem and used our ingenuity to create a solution. NJ Transit assisted by donating an old Bus Shelter which we took apart and modified to accept Solar Power. With the help of other engineering students we added ports to allow the use USB powered devices. The next class of engineering students will continue to improve the design and it will provide light and shelter for student for years to come.”

Nelms’ contribution to the West Orange community was recognized last week by the New Jersey senate and general assembly.

Nelms, who will move to Pitt this weekend, studied engineering in high school but sees a different path for himself in college.

“That was my pathway during high school. I studied engineering since the 8th grade while in GA and then continued to study when I came West Orange. I was accepted to Dietrich School of Arts and will be studying Psychology and I would like to minor in communications.

“I love my sport and really enjoy sharing what I have learned with younger players. I would like to pursue a career coaching college football when my playing days are over. That is actually one of my decision factors in choosing Pitt. Everyone I met and received council from raved about how Coach (Pat) Narduzzi treats his players and staff. He is known for developing Men and giving them an opportunity to succeed. I would like to one day come back and be a part of the Pitt coaching tradition.”