Nicole Finitsis '08

nicole finitisNicole Finitsis graduated from the Community Leadership program in 2008 while working full-time for UNH.  Until recently, she was Program Manager for the NH Senior Companion Program—a senior-to-senior federally funded program that is statewide, helping to keep frail elders and adults with disabilities in their own homes and giving a meaningful volunteer opportunity to low-income senior volunteers.  She was in this position a little over 3 years.  In November 2014, however, she started a new position closer to home as the Director of Client Services for Atlantic Homelife Senior Care in Dover.  This position is brand new for a growing home care agency on the Seacoast that has been looking for someone to come in as the highest level management person underneath the owners. In addition to having an active professional career, Nicole has an active home life as mom to fraternal twin boys, Rylan & Quinn, who are a little over a year old!

Nicole credits CoLead and the Thompson School for getting her involved in their hands-on approach from the start of taking courses to where she is today.  Thanks to the interactive courses, she says, where you are part of the problem-solving for projects and actually connect with people in the field, CoLead helped her to realize what direction she wanted to go in for a career quicker than a traditional program would have. What she liked best about the CoLead program was a combination of the hands-on approach and the quality of the teachers—throughout the Thompson School, but also specifically in CoLead. There is a special attention to each student in the CoLead program that you cannot get anywhere else and she is grateful to have experienced that.  Tim Barretto and Kate Hanson are both professors she has in mind when she says this. She was also able to work with Cooperative Extension during her time in the CoLead program and can say the same for her experiences with those professors.

Nicole had a truly unique UNH experience.  After graduating high school, she was hired for dining services full time in a contract position with full benefits—one of these benefits was to get 5 tuition free courses a year while maintaining a full schedule and good grades. She used this benefit to her advantage, slowly taking courses at no cost and only having to pay for books. Eventually, she became Supervisor of Conference Services at the New England Center for a few years before it closed, and then moved into a nonprofit sector position from there. Nicole has always worked full-time since graduating high school.  After graduating from the Thompson School she pursued a self-designed degree that she created at Granite State College, and she now has a self-designed B. S. in Nonprofit Management and Elder Care. When she reflects on her educational experience, however, Nicole is quite clear that the Community Leadership program and the Thompson School were a major part of the preparation to get her to where she is today. 

Written by, Olivia Lenox & Lexus Reyna

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