Nicola is an educator, administrator, and lifelong learner with undeniable enthusiasm for life.
If you could give your past self some advice, what would you tell yourself?
Do not make yourself smaller to fit societal norms. Embrace all the parts of yourself because you are beautiful just the way you are. Do not ever let someone else tell you that you are too loud, too silly, too much of a dreamer, or too fanciful. Those are your gifts, and you must use them to help others. Be kind!
When you first started your career how did you know you were ready and what made you start?
Necessity made me start! I was a single mother who needed to support her children and give them all the opportunities that life had afforded me. Education was held in exceedingly high regard in a family that had immigrated to Canada. My parents worked hard, so I could attend post-secondary education. I wanted that for my daughters too. At 39, I went to teacher’s college, fell in love with education and never looked back. I realized that every child could learn given the right tools and circumstances. I still believe that. Education does not have to be conventional; it just must be available.
What or who has been your greatest influence?
My parents! As survivors of the second world war, they taught me about honour and duty. They taught me to fulfill commitments, not to make promises I could not keep, to elevate others, the value of hard work and that there is a solution to every problem if you just keep looking. My mother also taught me to love reading. She said that every thought ever thought, or any important discovery ever made was written down somewhere. I could discover new worlds by turning the pages of a book.
What is your number one business goal this year?
I have loved teaching and leadership. I am grateful for all the wonderful mentors; I have had along the way. However, receiving the news that I was in remission had me decide to retire from my school board and pursue some of my personal creative endeavors. I will continue to edit works for others and indulge my creative passions.
What do you have going on that you would like to share?
I have had the great privilege of connecting with some of the women featured in the Pursuit:365 book. They have trusted me with their stories and shared their personal journeys. Each woman in this book has an optimistic spirit, has faced challenges, found solutions, and risen above her circumstances. Congratulations to a wonderful group of women and thank you to the women (Shelly, Andreia & Jen) who have connected us all. Amazing!
Letters Against Isolation, a group founded by Saffron and Shreya Patel (future philanthropists and leaders) coordinates volunteers to write letters and send them to the elderly in Long Term Care Homes. These young ladies have found a way to keep our seniors connected to the outside world. If you would like to volunteer, I have included the contact email. firstname.lastname@example.org
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