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Nicole spent her childhood in Detroit, living with her father after she was taken from her abusive mother as a young child. Around the age of 16, Nicole lived through that abandonment again. She was on the internet one day, surfing Facebook, where she saw a post indicating her dad had left town, abruptly moving to another state. No warning, he was just gone. The news came as a total shock.

Lucky enough to have a relative nearby, Nicole moved in with her aunt. She was happy enough there, taking care of her young cousins, but by the age of 21 she knew things needed to change. While she was glad to help out, and had completed her GED, she knew her life needed to move forward. It wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy caring for her young cousins; she just knew that further education and a job should be part of her plan.

As Nicole’s social worker listened to Nicole express frustration over her situation, and her need for structure and consistency, Covenant House came to mind. She must have felt Nicole was ready for change and could benefit from our services as she recommended giving us a call.

Now, just two weeks into her stay at Covenant House, Nicole is already glad she came. “I realize I have a lot of anger issues I need to overcome, but now I have a chance to work through them.” She has also taken advantage of our intern program, where she eagerly jumped into training sessions.

Her motivation doesn’t end with her own life; Nicole wants help her fellow residents. “I’m a motivator in my wing. I’m always encouraging others to do better and trying to get them to smile.” Nicole is very passionate about learning everything she can and wants to help reach other youth who are in worse situations than she was, even if that means helping out on the streets. “I went out with Stephanie (Outreach Manager) the other day for about 6 hours.”

When she isn’t working, training or motivating others, Nicole likes to write poetry. As she enters this period of discovery and begins investing in her future, she is exploring the idea of a career in business, marketing or as a teacher. Once she picks a direction, signing up for college courses is the next step in her plan.