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Meet our June Specialist of the Month: Nick Smith

Meet our June Specialist of the Month, Nick Smith, a Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) in-school specialist from Northview Next Career Center.  Nick has been a JMG Specialist for almost 5 years and has been making a huge impact in the lives of the youth he serves. We asked several questions so you can get to know Nick better: 

Why did you become a JMG Specialist?

I became a JMG Specialist because I wanted a position where I could help youth discover their “why.” I enjoy helping them overcome barriers, as well as helping them succeed in education, employment, and most importantly in life.

What inspires you about your job?

I am inspired by my students. They overcome many barriers, step out of their comfort zones, and work tirelessly to achieve their goals. They inspire me to be better at my job.

Recall a favorite memory about being a specialist. (an event, a youth accomplishment, etc.)

My favorite memory is having one of our students be a 2024 Youth Advisory Council Scholarship recipient. She was rewarded for her dedication, commitment, and accomplishments. I am so proud that she can continue her education and pursue her dream because of this scholarship. 

What is one of the greatest challenges you face in your job?

One of the greatest challenges I face is having the initial “buy-in” from the students. Most of the students have never had someone so invested in their education and goals. Once we build a relationship, they know we genuinely care about them and they fully “buy-in.”

What is one of the greatest highlights/joys of your job?

The greatest highlight of my job is seeing the students graduate and knowing they have a post-graduation plan. Everything they accomplish is earned, not given. They overcome many barriers and are determined to achieve personal success. 

Why do you think JMG is so important for youth?

JMG provides so many workshops, resources, and opportunities for students that they may not receive anywhere else. All of the youth I’ve worked with have benefited from being a part of JMG. I wholeheartedly believe youth who participate in JMG are better prepared to achieve their personal goals.

Share your hobbies: Do you have any pets, what do you like to do in your spare time, etc.

Hobbies: Coaching baseball, watching every Tigers game, traveling, spending time at Lake Michigan in Manistee, spending time at Eight Point Lake, attending Dave Matthews Band Concerts, attending Michigan Football games, maintaining the best lawn in my neighborhood!

What is a fun fact about you: 

Fun fact: I got married to my wonderful wife Whitney on 6/3/2022. We traveled to Italy and Greece for our honeymoon. We recently welcomed our first child into the world. Wilson Thomas Smith was born on 4/11/2024. I have been to 14 Major League Baseball Stadiums. I have been to 41 Dave Matthews Band concerts. I am a Michigan Football season ticket holder. 

Nominations are open to ALL, including our employer partners! If you know a phenomenal specialist, we encourage you to nominate them as our July Specialist of the month.

Nominate a specialist who deserves to be recognized, here.


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