Young Women of the Month: Nicole Terry {October 2015}

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Nicole Terry

Age 34

Lives in Hartford, CT

Q. Can you tell us a little about your life path? What are you doing in your career and community right now and what lead you there?

A. I was born and raised in Waterbury, CT by my parents, extended family and community.  I’m grateful that I grew up during a time where the concept of “it takes a village” still applied.  After high school I  attended the University of Connecticut on an academic scholarship and received a BS in Finance and later when on to get a Master’s of Public Administration (UConn) and an MBA from the University of Hartford.  My parents instilled in me early the importance of education. 

Right after undergrad I began working for United Technologies Corporation where I have held numerous positions, most recently as part of their Internal Audit department. My career has afforded me the opportunity to live out of the country and travel the world.  While an undergrad I began a mentoring program with a friend called H.O.P.E. (Helping Others Pursue Excellence) and this really has been my passion in the community for the past 14 years.  I love working with young people particularly teenagers in underserved communities.  The mentoring program is for high school girls we participate in workshops, discussions, and community serve around topics that impact women and particular young women.  My parent’s emphasis on education and exposing me to different programs (dance, sports, NAACP, Upward Bound) and events helped to cultivate my passion for working with young women.  I was able to see firsthand through my own experiences growing up the importance of see places outside of my current environment and thinking beyond what I knew.  Seeing other successful women who looked like me, who talked to me about college, who encouraged me who gave me guidance was all a form of leadership that I received an helped to push me to reach for my dreams and that’s what I try to do in my own community.

Q. What does young women’s leadership mean to you?

A. Young women’s leadership means young women who are using their voice, their platform, their influence, their time and talents to make an impact on the community at large and their own personal community. Everyone has a voice no matter the age; we can all learn something from each person we encounter on any given day.

Q. Do you consider yourself a feminist? What does feminism mean to you?

A. Do I consider myself a feminist not really; I can’t say that I’ve ever referred to myself as a feminist not amongst myself or just in general.  By definition, the term feminist means a person who advocates for women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Do I believe that women can do anything they strive to do and should be allowed absolutely but I also recognize there are barriers and catalyst in our society that try to limit those abilities. As a young women I have been involved in many organizations and conversations to try and combat those restrictive boundaries and limitations that still exist for women today.

Q. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other young women, ages 18-35, about how to build their leadership skills or the importance of becoming a leader?

A. My one piece of advice would be to use your voice.  Everyone has life experiences that have shaped and continue to shape the women that we are and are yet to become.  Don’t be afraid to use your voice to speak up when you don’t agree, to voice your opinion and to not only build your own personal skills via education, networking, and service but remember to reach back and support other young women.

Young Women Rising celebrates one young woman each month by sharing their story here on our blog. If you know of a young woman between the ages of 18-35 that we should consider including please email us at michelle.noehren@cga.ct.gov.

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