By: Sarah Kelley, Director of Community Support Programs
It is my great pleasure to spotlight Nicole Rivera this month. In her role as an EMPath Mobility Coach, she works with participants to strengthen their decision-making, persistence, and resilience over time so they can set their personal goals to approach the complex task of moving out of poverty. Nicole exemplifies the 18 Degrees’ mission in this work, supporting families onto their new beginning through her willingness to share her lived experience and collaborate across programs and agencies.
Nicole will tell you, “Never in a million years did I think I would be in a position to help. At one point, I needed help. I didn’t speak the language. I didn’t even know how to enroll in school.”
Now, she serves as her families’ best cheerleader, telling them, “Yes, you can do that!” and partners with them to achieve their goals and continue to grow and be successful.
Since joining 18 Degrees in August of 2019, Nicole has been a consistent ray of sunshine! Her wisdom, can-do attitude, and positive energy make her an asset to the various committees she serves on. She has become a strong advocate for the Latino community and has helped facilitate support groups that have created a vital connection during COVID.
Outside of work, Nicole continues to work toward her own goals implementing the same practices she coaches. Currently enrolled in school at Berkshire Community College, she will receive her Associates in Social Work this spring before pursuing her Bachelor’s at Elms College. Nicole loves spending time with her husband, her 6-year-old daughter, and her 15- and 17-year-old stepchildren. She even makes time to take slow walks with her 10-year-old dog.