Nicole is an energetic, highly driven mother of three who came to Vermont Works for Women in July of 2016. Prior to starting the Step In to Work program, Nicole described herself as feeling, “unsure…my choice of career did not go with my job history or experience.” Nicole’s work experience had mainly consisted of fast food and cleaning, but she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in psychology. Nicole entered Step In to Work with the hope that the program would equip her with the confidence and skills to explore her larger career goals.
While participating in the Step In to Work program, Nicole worked closely with Job Developer Rachel Kauppila. Rachel helped Nicole identify goals and navigate tricky situations at work, including negotiating a raise.
“I received support and advice on approaching my employer, resulting in a management position with a raise. Later we began discussing future goals around a career of interest, leading to the focus on furthering my education.”
Rachel accompanied Nicole to her first meeting with an adviser at Community College of Vermont (CCV) in Winooski, and has continue to serve as a resource and sounding board when challenges arise at school.
Reflecting on her VWW experience, Nicole says, “[they] have been an absolute joy to work with and always manage to foster positive discussions and show patience… they are dedicated, knowledgeable, all-around great people whose main concern is helping you reach your full potential. You will never be judged and will develop your own customized plan to gain access to your life goals. Regardless if you’re unsure or have ideas already, I know the program will be beneficial.”
Job Developer, Rachel Kauppila, had the following to say about Nicole’s success: “Nicole has been incredibly inspiring to work with. She is motivated and hardworking, and has been able to balance taking classes at CCV, working, and raising a family. She has big goals for herself and is committed to achieving them.”
Dedicated to her dream of becoming a psychologist, Nicole is close to earning her Associate’s degree in Psychology from CCV and plans to transfer to UVM to pursue her Bachelor’s degree. Though she’s currently taking a break from work and classes to care for her newborn baby, Preis’auna, she’s looking forward to starting classes again at the end of the month.