Nicole is the first L.I.F.T. Scholarship recipient to graduate from college. She graduated from Purdue University, Lafayette December 16, 2012, with plans to become a school counselor. She is now at IUPUI working towards her Masters of Science in Counseling and Counselors Education. She works at a pre-school and as a nanny to pay for her graduate school studies. She understands that education is something one earns and knows she has the power to make her future bright. She moved to Indiana at the end of her freshman year of high school, leaving behind most of her family, as her mother worked to create a better life for Nicole and her brother. She is the first in her family to attend college after taking honors and AP classes in high school, and is a wonderfully driven young woman, who understands the freedom this scholarship and an education provided.

“Learning inspires freedom in all of us… because an education is something we earn for ourselves… an education gives us freedom to do anything you want. I will do anything in my power to make the future brighter and more promising.”

Nicole graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish in three and a half years! During this time she not only went to school, but she reached out in the community and within her future career to make a difference. Nicole was an outreach assistant for the Military Family Research Institute preparing different events throughout Indiana for military families. She also worked closely with the Star Behavioral Health Providers who train clinicians to become better prepared to treat military clients. In addition, Nicole was an art counselor to 5-8 year old students who were participating in a study on ADHD through the National Institute ofMental Health ADHD Research Study. Her job was to teach the children artevery morning to see if their behavior improved throughout the day from having art in the morning. If this was not enough, she also volunteered with the International Center at Purdue University to help international students improve their English and worked part time in the book store on campus.