She is studying to be an elementary school teacher after her son’s father took his own life in 2001 following a long battle with mental illness. Working through her grief, Nicole realized that life is precious and should be valued, and that doing “good” in life turns the negative into a positive.
For Nicole that good was setting the goal for herself of becoming an elementary school teacher – and a role model for her son. At age 29, she went back to school and is currently enrolled at Viterbo University, where she has maintained a 3.86 grade average. A full-time student, and full-time mom of a six-year-old son, Nicole works at the University and tutors at her son’s school. As a teacher Nicole hopes to convey to her students tolerance of disabilities and the differences in students.
Nicole maintains that life is one hundred percent choices. “I always thought I could never go back to school. I never thought I would get a 4.0 GPA in a semester. I never thought I could be a single mom and live through the death of his father,” she said. “But then I realized that these things are all choices and all I had to do is decide to do it.”