FBI Buffalo
Buffalo Press Office
(716) 856-7800
September 19, 2022

Dr. Shaun Nelms Receives FBI’s 2021 Director’s Community Leadership Award

Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Buffalo Field Office, awarded Dr. Shaun Nelms, Superintendent of East Upper and Lower Schools in Rochester, New York, with the FBI’s 2021 Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). Dr. Nelms’ dedication and support for his students are just some of the reasons why he is being honored with this award.

“Dr. Nelms won this award for many reasons, including demonstrating leadership by supporting youth and education through his ‘Progressive Educational Reform Program’ at East,” said FBI Buffalo Field Office Special Agent in Charge Stephen Belongia. “Dr. Nelms also uses a more creative approve to solve community problems by highlighting his students’ various talents. His efforts are not only to encourage and support his students in the City of Rochester, but to also “Change the Narrative” of how youth are perceived in the community.”

Throughout the year, dedicated, selfless individuals and organizations make extraordinary contributions to their local cities and towns across the United States. Every year, the FBI honors the best among them with its Director’s Community Leadership Award. Award recipients are from different backgrounds, professional fields, and parts of the country. The issues each face may vary; however, they all have the same motivation: a desire to make lives better. It’s a hefty goal, but these people make valiant efforts.

It is no secret East High School is special. Besides its unique partnership with The University of Rochester, its leadership stands out. As Superintendent of East Upper and Lower schools, Dr. Nelms has made it his mission to uplift students in the academic world, but beyond school doors. For example, Last year, Dr. Nelms recorded video interviews with students whose success might not normally be celebrated in the school/academic world. One talented student specialized in hair braiding, while another dropped a musical album in 2021. There was even a boxing champion in the 8th grade and a budding actor… just to name a few.

We never truly know what tomorrow brings. Dr. Nelms; however, is trying his best to make sure the future for his students is successful and bright.

For media inquiries please call (716) 866-0324 or e-mail jmmcbride@fbi.gov

Shaun Nelms Buffalo DCLA and SAC
Dr. Shaun Nelms, Buffalo DCLA