Education activist Malala Yousafzai said, “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” This month’s guest writer is a graduate of the 2020 class of Inspire Atlanta, Nicole Hill. Nicole shares how the program helped her to find her voice to inspire positive change in her community and take the bold step of sharing her own story. When the many voices come together collectively, the impact can change the world. Learn about all the ways you can get involved with AWF.
The Atlanta Women’s Foundation’s Inspire Atlanta program motivated me to find and elevate my voice. The experiences I had throughout the program were humbling and inspirational, as I deeply identified with many of the issues and challenges the women and girls I encountered were experiencing.
Raised by a single mother who worked two jobs and long hours to care for me, I never questioned what she needed; all I knew was there was something I could do to help. I took the initiative to begin working at an early age which led to me getting a job at a financial services organization at merely 16 years old.
Working countless hours while studying tirelessly each week, I learned first-hand what economic stability felt like. Motivated to do even more, I was able to expedite my graduation from high school a year early and became the first in my family to attend and graduate from college with both a bachelors and master’s degree.
As my professional career continued to evolve, I have had the benefit of many amazing opportunities to develop meaningful relationships that turned into countless sponsors, mentors, and mentees. The benefit of these relationships, while centered around my professional growth, I was also challenged to seek out opportunities to build and demonstrate my confidence.
So, here we are, 20 years later – I know that’s a LONG TIME – I applied for and was accepted into the Inspire Atlanta program. Having participated in the program, I can honestly say it provided me the motivation, confidence, and courage to not only share my story, but it ignited my passion for empowering women and girls to thrive beyond their circumstances.
Through Inspire Atlanta’s philanthropic focus, I was able to raise more than $10,000 during a pandemic. I developed many long-lasting relationships with some amazing women. And most importantly, I am using my voice to inspire positive change in the lives of women and girls throughout the Metropolitan Atlanta Area.
Lastly, after the program concluded, I was nominated to Co-chair the alumni program; this has been such an honor!
So why did I just tell you my story? I bet that’s what you’re thinking. I told you my story because it is never too late to share your story and inspire passion about what ignites you.
Your story can move mountains and allow someone to walk-thru and drive their purpose. Your heart has a beat, and it can also be used to show love in a community for women and girls.
Nicole Martin Hill is a graduate of the 2020 Inspire Atlanta program and currently services as the Inspire Atlanta Alumni Co-Chair.
As Citizens Bank, Head of Consumer & Shared Services Non-Financial Risk, Nicole is a key member of the Enterprise Non-Financial Risk Management Leadership team. Nicole works closely with Executive Leaders as a trusted advisor and provides risk oversight direction for the Consumer Bank & Shared Services. She is a change agent and accountable for oversight of key risk and compliance work streams and activities, including growth and development, execution planning and overall successful delivery of an effective Consumer Bank and Shared services Risk Oversight Program.
Nicole is an active volunteer in the community and currently is a member of Women on Board Atlanta and Board Member for American Diabetes Associates-Georgia & Alabama. She has provided valuable support to many organizations in Metro Atlanta, serving in multiple capacities including financial empowerment, resume writing, health is wealth empowerment, and mentorship for women and youth.