There’s unparalleled value within a strong female support system.
That’s just one of the many lessons Nicole Carter ’08 learned while at FIU and, specifically, while in Phi Mu Fraternity. And it’s something she still carries with her today.
“As a Phi Mu, I recognized the critical importance of networking and developing relationships with strong women of all backgrounds,” Nicole notes. “These women, and the many others at FIU, collaborated to be a force in every arena, and showed me the incalculable value of a strong female system, especially when used to overcome oppression and create greater opportunities.”
Since graduating from FIU, Nicole received her Juris Doctor from Campbell University and later relocated to Denver, where she began as a paralegal and was promoted to Federal Contract Associate after just one month at her new job. In her spare time, Nicole is very involved in social issues – specifically those that affect women – and that’s what prompted her to look for organizations to align herself with in her new home state.
She was then introduced to the Denver Women’s Commission (DWC), where she has since been appointed by Denver’s Mayor Michael Hancock, to serve as a Commissioner.
The DWC was created with the goal to educate, empower and advocate on behalf of women in the community and to also advise the Mayor on these same issues. They frequently tackle the many issues women face daily, such as employment barriers, pay equity, family leave and access to opportunity.
As the Commissioner, Nicole wants to be the voice for women of all ages and ethnicities, and truly promote the DWC’s mission of educating and empowering women. Ultimately, Nicole shares that her goal is to “secure a world where our future daughters do not have to have these same conversations, and instead have a wealth of opportunity that now, we can only dream of.”
Her alma mater played a vital role in shaping Nicole. FIU constantly encourages students to challenge the status quo and develop their unique strengths, and she has taken that and applied it to her professional career. It’s a constant source of motivation that pushes her to think outside the box and strategize for more effective, ethical and powerful stances.
Nicole’s mother would always remind her that you can be changed by what happens to you, but only if you first refuse to be reduced by it. If Nicole had one piece of advice to share with FIU students, it would be just that.
“Be changed by your experience at FIU, be changed by your life experiences, be changed by your cultural backgrounds, and decide today that all of those things significantly contribute to your greatness and will never reduce you.”