Scholar Class – 2013
Nicole was born in Southern California, but moved across the country to Maryland at age 10, when she was adopted by family members. In her freshman year of high school, she met the president of Allies 4 Equality (A4E), her school’s gay-straight alliance (GSA), and started attending meetings. Nicole’s interests in gay rights and her personal experiences made her want to get more involved and become a mentor to other teens. She also became active in the local Rainbow Youth Alliance, other local GSAs, and the Human Rights Campaign, helping to plan community events. In her junior year, Nicole was elected president of James Hubert Blake High School’s Allies 4 Equality. In spring 2012, GLSEN chose A4E as their inaugural GSA of the Year. This was due to the efforts of Nicole and the other A4E leaders, who created the Allie the Ally campaign to spread awareness and support for LGBTQ youth around the country and around the world. Nicole and the others travelled to New York for the annual GLSEN Respect Awards and made a speech accepting the honor. Nicole continued her leadership roles by creating a hiking club and also being active in the school’s marching band and wind ensemble (she plays the bassoon and baritone horn). In addition, Nicole was Associate Editor of the Blake Beat, the school’s monthly newspaper. All of this is possible because of her supportive and loving parents. Nicole has taken advantage of opportunities presented by an open-minded and supportive community, most recently inetrning for the summer in the communications department of Paralyzed Veterans of America.