Raised in the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley just north of Los Angeles, Nicole "Nikki" E. grew up alongside two older brothers with both her parents. She commuted one hour each morning to attend Pacific Palisades High School for four years. Nicole was introduced to a culturally, financially, and ethnically diverse student body at Pacific Palisades, but quickly became acquainted with bullies during her high school years.
“I was made fun of frequently by groups of girls for speaking correctly, my clothing and the area I lived in,” said Nicole. “I was definitely a target to some people.”
But after school, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica provided Nicole a place of refuge. There was never an idle moment Nicole did not use to her advantage, whether she was completing homework, volunteering in the Leaders In Training program (L.I.T.), exercising computer skill activities with Club Tech, or unleashing her creativity into vivid expressive art pieces.
“I always attempted to learn as much as I could from the different Club Tech programs, because I knew that one day the graphic design and video skills I could learn in the Club would come in handy,” said Nicole.
Teen ReporterAt 15, Nicole began building her journalism career in the entertainment media world when she was asked to become a teen reporter for myclubmylife.com, a teen website created by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. As a Club member, Nicole has interviewed many of the most iconic figures in the industry, from Academy Award winners director Ron Howard and actor Denzel Washington to media mogul and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey.
The opportunities Nicole received as a result of Club Tech programming landed Nicole a position as a paid intern at People magazine during the summer of 2009, starting just one week after graduating from Palisades Charter High School.
With the help and support of her Club, Nicole hopes to continue her path in journalism and become an influential media figure, who will promote Clubs and technology and media skills to kids. Having been a Club member since she was eight, Nicole knows firsthand the benefits of attending Boys & Girls Clubs and the opportunities to which kids are exposed.
Currently, Nicole is an honor roll Phi Theta Kappa student at Santa Monica College majoring in journalism and an intern for the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) PR department.
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