Regan Starnes Nelson is a junior at Metairie Park Country Day School who has invested a great deal of time with organizations in order to make an impact on her school and New Orleans.

Nelson is a member of a school group called Global Citizens, which has raised money for many different local and global causes. Last year, the group raised money for Charity Water, a nonprofit organization that brings clean drinking water to those who don’t have access. “This year, we thought it was best to help our community and raise money for the families of Gulf fisherman that had been affected by the oil spill.”

When Japan was hit with earthquakes and tsunamis in March, Nelson was ready to start raising funds and awareness. She informed her classmates about the devastation in Japan by creating a PowerPoint and discussing the nuclear power plant issue, which was used as part of a discussion curriculum for the Upper School advisory groups.

She was able to organize a group of 30 students and worked with other schools in the area to raise money for relief efforts. 

Nelson is also active with the Miracle League – an organization that she discovered because her sister Sydney has cerebral palsy. “As a buddy, I am matched up with a child with a disability and I help them play,” says Nelson.

“Seeing how happy they are and how much it means to my sister when she plays were the reasons I joined and have decided to stay with it. It happens in the fall, winter and spring, and I have participated since the fall of my sophomore year.

“Through Miracle League, I know my sister will not miss out on learning to play sports and also how to be a team player.” The idea that Miracle League stands for is Nelson’s view on community service. Ever since her sister was born, Nelson has dreamed of building a local school for children with brain injuries that offers therapy. She knows how hard it is to find a school like this because her sister spent a couple of months in Budapest receiving therapy due to the lack of local resources.

Nelson has been at Country Day since kindergarten. She has been a varsity cheerleader and a member of the varsity soccer team since her freshman year. She loves traveling, reading and hanging out with friends. Nelson is in her second year of studying Mandarin Chinese and wants to attend a college with a good Chinese program that will also allow her to stay involved with community service.