Nicole is a bridge builder and a healer. Growing up in Los Angeles, she came to believe in alliances. She was an LGBTQ activist in her youth, working with LGBTQ youth and adults in recovery from substance abuse. She was later trained to be a mental health clinician at CSULA and JFKU where she studied psychology and Women's Studies. For over two decades, she used her mental health clinical training along with her social justice activism and advocacy work, to serve communities suffering from trauma resulting from systemic oppression in inner city communities in Los Angeles and the SF Bay Area.
In the 1980s, Nicole worked as a political aide in Sacramento, but moved to the East Bay to manage programs at the non-profit mental health clinic Familias Unidas. Nicole later became a provider of mental health services to children and families at Contra Costa County Child and Adolescent Services. After moving to Richmond in 2005, she served as Community Advocate and Chief of Staff to former Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin.
Nicole is also known for her work as an activist and artist, creating and managing LGBTQ youth mentoring programs and making a short film, De Colores, exploring the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation.
More recently, she has been advocating for and supporting RYSE, Y.E.S., BBK, Urban Tilth, Safe Return Project and other organizations. She has been a board member of Urban Tilth, Richmond Progressive Alliance, Saffron Strand and is currently on the board of Building Blocks for Kids. She is entering a new career working as a Life Coach after training at CTI (The Coaches Training Institute), through which shares her hard earned wisdom and her enduring humor and joy. She loves her life as a wife, mother and grandmother, and credits the LGBTQ movement with allowing her "to openly be all three."