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Alumni News

 

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Nicole Walker '04


 

Nicole received her bachelors in urban planning and master’s in public policy from California State University Northridge. She has spent the better part of her adult life honing her craft in the art of the storytelling. Initially starting out as an author of short stories and novels, Nicole has broadened her specialty to include novel adaptations for film and television, screenwriting for all mediums as well as documentaries, reality based television shows and web series. Nicole is also actively invovled in civic engagement having been a delegate at-large at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. We recently had the chance to catch up with Nicole! 

Where are you now?

Currently I work as an environmental health specialist for the Los Angeles Unified School District. In this capacity, I ensure that the students and staff of LAUSD are in a safe space where they are able to learn and teach to the best of their abilities. I am also a co-founder of the nonprofit, the I Am Project for Literacy as well as serving on several boards, including an advisory capacity for the Black Chamber of Commerce, Inland Empire. I am also a mommy to a most wonderful little boy. I am politically active with membership in my local democratic clubs as well having served as a at-large delegate for Bernie Sanders at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. 

How did your experience at Santa Monica College influence your life? Your current career?

I started going to Santa Monica College when I was still a high school student at Culver City High School. I was taking a few film classes and I was also a student in the Launchpad Program which taught me how to use the Adobe Master Collection. Santa Monica College influenced my life by teaching me to take calculated risks and dream big. In my current career, Santa Monica College taught me how to prepare myself and become open to new opportunities and learning experiences. 

Shout Out! To a faculty or staff member that made a difference.

There are many but I would love to give a special shoutout to my mom, Beverly Redd-Walker, who serves as the face of the Bundy Campus. Cliff Dobbs, The Reprographics Team, Richard, Cecil, Warren, Miguel and Rigo who gave me one of my first "real" jobs (as a student worker), Christopher Walker for statistics (one of the golden four that got me into CSUN) and Barry Preston for helping me get past my fear of public speaking (another one of the golden four). 

Words of wisdom to share with future alumni.

Do NOT be afraid to take on new risks and learning opportunities. Also I would say to never give up on learning. When I left SMC, I initially wanted to be a doctor and was set on that path, however through a series of events, I graduated with my undergrad in Urban Studies and my masters in Public Policy from CSUN which lead me to becoming more politically engaged and active in my community. Go for your dreams because you never know where things can lead you. 

What's Next?

I am looking forward to watching my son grow up. I am also planning on becoming even more politically involved with a possible run in the future. I also want to write a couple more books and expand my businesses and nonprofits so they can serve the south Los Angeles community. Otherwise, the sky is the limit, thanks to SMC. 

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