Nicole was born and raised in southwest Missouri and is a first-generation college graduate. At the age of 9, she was adopted by her grandmother. Given her childhood experience in foster care and having had such a positive impact from her social worker and later mentor, she was inspired to make a similar difference. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the College of the Ozarks. After graduation, she spent 4 years as a child protective worker for the State of Missouri. This is where she truly unearthed her passion for helping children and families during adverse times. To further expand on this experience and her impact on adolescents, Nicole transitioned into the juvenile delinquency field as a juvenile probation officer, working with inner-city youth in Florida and Texas. During her 11-year career with youth and their families, she has collaborated with and facilitated the use of numerous community resources and has made it her mission to give a voice to these children.