In this month’s Alumni Spotlight, Nicollette “Nico” Echevarria, an alum of Gerald and Darlene Jordan Club, shares her favorite memories from her time as a member and eventual staff, including mentors who left a lasting impact and what she’s up to now.
Club: Gerald and Darlene Jordan Club
Years Attended: Member and junior staff from 1999-2007, full-time staff from 2007-2019
Favorite Club activity: Basketball
Club extracurriculars: Swim team, Keystone, girls groups, cooking class, tech programs, and several awards
Current Occupation: Community Health Care Worker for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and a current graduate student at Northeastern University’s Masters of Education program.
In Her Own Words:
What qualities and daily skills did you learn from your Club?
I learned leadership skills for sure. I learned how to be professional and be a hard worker. The Club was my first job because I participated in the Young Leaders program, so I was 13 with a job. This was great for me because I was learning how to work, manage my money, be responsible, be a good employee and still balance being a teenager and enjoying my childhood.
I carry all those skills I learned from my very first job today which is balancing my work life and my personal life. Money managing, being a good leader, when to listen, and when to advocate for myself. I am super thankful to the Club for giving me my first job at 13 because ever since that first job, I’ve never stopped working. I am a very dedicated worker and take a lot of pride in my ability and my work ethics.
Who was a mentor that made an impact in your life?
My mentors were Isidra, Sam, and Michelle! They each made a very different impact in my life and are very important to me and who I am today.
Sam helped me become more aware of who I am, the potential I am able to reach when I put my mind to things, and how to be a leader. Isidra helped me become confident in who I am and always gave me a space I needed to express myself without judgement. Over 20 years later, she’s still someone I can talk to and know that I will not be judged. Michelle helped me be powerful and strong with everything I did and still do, from work to school, personal friendships and relationships.
My mentors were amazing staff growing up, and I will always love and respect them for being such an important part of my childhood.
How has your Club experience led you to what you’re currently working on?
I am currently in school to be a teacher. I would love to be as impactful and powerful as the Club staff were to me and other children in the community
What advice do you have for younger members?
Stay true to who you are. Do not go with the “flow”—be you. If you like certain things that others don’t, so be it! Never stop doing what you love just because others are not into it. I remember staying at the Club for so many years even after “my friends” would say it’s wack or boring there. I am thankful that how they felt never affected me and I continued to be a Club member because I loved being there!
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