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Five Questions with Nichelle Cole, Executive Director, Nash-Edgecombe-Wilson Community Action, Inc.

Growing up in Goldsboro’s Washington Park community, Nichelle Cole remembers being nurtured by an abundance of play aunties, uncles, teachers, and church family. “It was a community that lived out the notion it takes a village to raise a child,” she said. “Consequently, I have a passion for making the same kind of impact in the communities in which I live and work.” Nichelle is the executive director of Nash-Edgecombe-Wilson Community Action.

Describe your typical day.

I wake up at 4 a.m. to begin my spiritual renewal. By 7 or 7:30, I arrive at NEW and begin staff interactions by 8 a.m. The meetings that I have throughout the day are made easier because of my supportive staff. I usually leave for the day around 5:30 p.m. Twice a week, I take part in an exercise class that starts at 7 p.m. Once I’m back in, I do some type of wind-down activity until bedtime.

What’s your favorite time of the year and why?

Winter is my favorite time of the year. I love to see snow and feel cooler weather. Best of all, the season brings many opportunities to be with family and friends. My birthday is also on Christmas Day. With all holidays, too, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

What is the biggest professional challenge facing you today?

The biggest professional challenge faced today is the “Great Resignation.” Filling employment vacancies and finding staff who are both passionate and committed to the work we do at NEW Community Action Inc., has increased in difficulty, including the dilemma of achieving work-life balance in post-pandemic life.

What is something that has sparked joy for you in the past year?

It has been very rewarding to watch my mother settle into retirement and to also see my godsons and niece transition through some of life’s major milestones.

What keeps you up at night?

Sleep is interrupted by work obligations and trying to figure out what’s next, staying on top of deadlines, and the impact of decisions made when serving the community is the highest priority.

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