Meet our Specialist of the Month winner for February, Nicole Medellin, a Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) out-of-school specialist from GST Michigan Works! located at the Family Literacy Center. Nicole has been a JMG Specialist for 9 months and has already made a huge impact in the lives of the youth she serves. We asked several questions so you can get to know her better:
Why did you become a JMG Specialist?
I earned my Bachelor's in Art Education and obtained a Michigan State Teaching Certification upon college graduation, but was not interested in being in a traditional school setting.
What inspires you about your job?
Watching my students achieve their dreams when they didn't believe they were able to.
Recall a favorite memory about being a specialist. (an event, a youth accomplishment, etc.)
My favorite memory was witnessing one of my students, who faced unimaginable barriers, finally overcoming hurdles and getting her GED!
What is one of the greatest challenges you face in your job?
One of the most significant challenges in my role is listening to the profound and often difficult backstories shared by the majority of students entering my program.
What is one of the greatest highlights/joys of your job?
When a student comes into my office to have his or her GED diploma printed and finally gets to wear that cap and gown!
Why do you think JMG is so important for youth?
I believe JMG is most crucial for youth who simply need someone in their corner to encourage and remind them that they are capable of achieving anything they set their minds to.
Share your hobbies, do you have any pets, what do you like to do in your spare time, etc.
I LOVE solo traveling. Pets? You don't even want to get me started about my Chihuahua, Aria (she is my heart and soul)! In my spare time, I love to read, watch documentaries, paint, hike, and solve puzzles.
A couple random facts to get to know you better.
My second language is French (I studied it all through high school, college, and lived in France twice). I am an "Irish twin". I am one-fourth Mexican (my dad's family is from Guadalajara, Mexico). I own my house that I bought by myself when I was 25. I have visited 41 of the 50 states.
I used to live in Australia.
Nominations are open to ALL, including our employer partners! If you know a phenomenal specialist, we encourage you to nominate them as our March Specialist of the month.
Nominate a specialist who deserves to be recognized, here.