The best way to improve yourself, others, and your community is to “get involved.” Nicole Lord begins her day by focusing on the positive and creating clear goals to support those around her. In getting to know Nicole Lord, my mentor from Flushing, Michigan, our conversations around career and technical education focused on seeing the differences made in people’s lives.
Nicole began her career in career and technical education after she had seen the positive impact she had made in others through coaching. Also, having enjoyed success in her high school business courses, she decided that she could teach business and combine both passions. As she continued to improve herself, others, and her community, Nicole transitioned from teaching business courses to academic advising, coordinating work-based learning, and directing career and technical education. Having strong connections with students helps her see the differences that she has made in their lives.
As Nicole has developed through her teaching experiences, she has also seen the impact misconceptions of students in career and technical education have had on society. As the students, programs, and communities are positively impacted by the work that has been done to prepare for post-secondary work opportunities, the perspective of the students and programs improves. The community locally, within the state, and nationally is recognizing the strengths of the students, programs, and life skills. Nicole also believes that this positivity will continue to grow as attention increases, demand increases, and students from the programs continue to be prepared for the workforce.
Educators in career and technical education come from many different walks of life, but they all come with a passion for their area of expertise and for helping others. Nicole Lord brought with her a passion for business management, people, and leadership that has allowed her to see the differences that career and technical education have made and can continue to make at the local, state, and national level. By setting goals and getting involved, we are all able to improve ourselves, others, and our communities.