Hometown: Washington, D.C. College: Yale Univeristy
Nelson grew up in Washington, DC, and he developed a love for soccer and education while working with children in Antigua, Guatemala. He attended Yale University, where he played club soccer, studied history, and sang a cappella. He also taught English and Math to middle school students at Celentano School in New Haven.
During the summer after his sophomore year, Nelson spent a month in the Panamanian rainforest, spreading sustainable agriculture practices and developing a tolerance for mosquito bites. That summer he also helped run bed-and-breakfasts in Italy and France, milking goats and feeding chickens every morning.
After graduating in 2017, he moved to Manhattan to work for CBS News Radio and the New York County District Attorney’s Office. Nelson played as much pick-up soccer as possible, eventually joining the club team, Iztacalco, which participated in La Liga Latina de Brooklyn. Eager to escape the city, in December 2018 Nelson moved to Alta, Utah, where he waited tables, skied nearly 100 days, and explored the area’s beautiful mountains, canyons, and deserts.
Nelson writes that soccer is a “beautiful, fun, and effective means for breaking down social and ethnic barriers. Playing soccer has always given me a universal language to communicate with people from vastly different backgrounds.”