Hometown: Greater Chicago Area, IL
RLT Leader: Water and Rocks '09,
Education: Rhode Island School of Design '13
RLT Essay: The First Time I Felt Beautiful
I think staff training should be re-titled as life training. It is really there that I learned how to approach relationship building, how to handle conflicts with grace and maturity and respect. I still try to avoid using leaky language when presenting myself. I can talk through disagreements, calmly reason through crises, and goof off when the time is right. The most important piece that is still with me is the importance of self reflection and self awareness. I write letters to self every year in August and open them in January. I think it is a ritual I will practice for the rest of my life. It is in those letter that I articulate my biggest fears, accomplishments, and words of encouragement. The best part is that when I read one, I usually go back and read the others. I am instantly transported to 15 year old Nicole in Panama or 18 year old Nicole on Rainier, even 21 year old Nicole in Rome. My RLT memories are the foundation of who I am and I couldn't have been more blessed had I planned every minute of it. I was with RLT for 6 years; first as a participant and then as a leader. The short description is that RLT made an incredibly meaningful impact on my life that is difficult to put into words and I realize that as much every day now as I did when I was 15 years old. Summers with RLT really helped me find myself.
I recently spent 6 months living in Rome and am now working as an Intern Architect in Boston this summer, finishing up my B.Arch at Rhode Island School of Design. I think I first learned to love architecture with RLT as well, realizing the important social and cultural impact it can make.
The wilderness is very much a home for me, I love gado gado, and sometime's Jim's Rose song randomly pops into my head. I deeply miss RLT every day and feel blessed to have had Jim, Donna and the whole family during such a critical part of my life.