Check out Alden’s interview below!
Alden Nelson has a love/hate relationship with Oakland. While he loves the diversity, the culture, and the “supporting cast” of the city he’s lived in for his entire life, he is tired of losing friends and would like to see an end to the violence that sometimes occurs in his community. Nevertheless, the encouragement of people like his grandmother has influenced who Alden is today, and his experiences have shaped his goals for himself and his community.
School and sports have always kept Alden on track. He is a student-athlete at Merritt College, where he will soon graduate with a degree in social and behavioral sciences. He plans to transfer to a four-year school in order to study engineering and, eventually, to start his own company as a designer. Wherever his studies lead him in the future, he knows he wants to be a role model and contribute to his community.
As someone who loves the diversity of cultures in Oakland, Alden is troubled by the racism and bigotry that afflicts the city. Moreover, having come of age in an environment that is sometimes violent and having lost close friends of his have sometimes clouded his view of Oakland. Nonetheless, such experiences—mixed in with the good—make him appreciate all the more vividly that it is not people’s appearances that matter, but what’s inside their hearts.