My name is Peta-Gaye but I go by my middle name, Nicole. I’m 24 years old. I’m originally from Jamaica, now I live in Willow Grove. I currently attend Temple for my Masters in Urban Education. I would say I’m funny, I’m an optimist, and caring.
When were you in PowerCorpsPHL?
I was in Cohort 4, 5, and currently 6. In Cohort 4 I was a Summer Intern for Supportive Services. In Cohort 5 I was an intern for both Supportive and Career Services. And in Cohort 6, I’m one of the Career Services Interns.
As Career Services Intern I work with PowerCorpsPHL members to complete different documents. Well, first I must build trust and meaningful relationships with members. Second, I work through the Career Services checklist to build members’ skills to transition into the workforce or post-secondary education. I initially found out about PowerCorpsPHL when I found the Summer Intern position through a Temple job posting. I was drawn to the ability to connect to people and support them in their transition.
I started my Masters program at Temple in 2015. The Urban Education program has been enlightening me on the state of the education system in Philadelphia and the systematic barriers low income people of color face in education; barriers to receiving an equitable education and have access to upward mobility. I’m in the School and Community Partnerships tract. I will take 10 courses around understanding the urban environment, urban schools, and the reforms that have taken place in those school. I love the material and what I’m learning, but I’m just ready for my career. I’m ready for that stability and independence. I think my dream career would be setting up low income youth with resources and skills to successfully maneuver life after high school, be that employment or post-secondary education. After I receive my Masters in December, I hope to find employment that will give me the same fulfillment that I get here at PowerCorpsPHL.
What about in your free time?
I like to relax and unwind. I like to watch The Office, listen to music, hang out with friends and family. I like to bake!
What motivates you?
I have some sense of inner drive, but knowing the impact my work has on other people and knowing I could have an impact on someone is the biggest motivator for me. I like knowing I’ve made a positive contribution to people, society, the world. I like being a positive part of someone’s day.
It’s given me a sense of purpose. Before PowerCorpsPHL I knew I wanted to help people transitioning, but this made me sure of it. My job also allowed me the chance to explore other interests, like how to create meaningful training sessions.
When I first started with PowerCorpsPHL, I didn’t really know my place in the organization or my impact. But with time, I understood that people value the work I do. As I’ve been here longer, people talk to me about my growth, and it makes me realize the potential I have. Knowing people appreciate me and view me as a leader has helped in making me feel more secure as a black woman with power.
Now that you’re an alumni, what sort of involvement would you like to have with PowerCorpsPHL?
Well, I still work for PowerCorpsPHL so I’m still very involved. But I’d like to see more interaction between alumni of different cohorts; I’d like to create a stronger sense of alumni unity. I think there should be more natural interactions at service events between alumni and members so members get an informal setting with alumni (and not just panels). PowerCorpsPHL alumni are a network, I want them to know about and utilize the support.
What do you miss about PowerCorpsPHL? What don’t you miss?
I miss Cohort 4! I miss having the opportunity to interact with people that was helpful for them, but didn’t fulfill an agenda. I had so many meaning of life conversations; and it helped in my understanding experiences.
I don’t miss… Boundaries are important to set to be the most impactful and effective. When I was a member, people regularly pushed those boundaries. In my current role, the boundaries are more explicit and not tried as much.
What do you hope to do in the future?
I want to define my happiness as having security, a sense of purpose, my own family, and knowing that I’m contributing to the world in a meaningful way.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Shout-out to my Summer Interns! The real OGs!!