Nicole Johnson was intrinsically motivated to come back to Englewood after completing her education because she knew she had a lot to offer. Upon earning her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan, she served as a third grade math teacher for Chicago Public Schools. She then completed her master’s in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania, and made a strategic decision to move back home so she could pour her talents and resources into the community she loved.
“I intentionally chose a path that allowed me to invest my skills and time into my community, as opposed to a larger corporation that may not be committed to rebuilding,” she says. “I’m confident that my work is directly part of the solution.”
Nicole makes herself part of Englewood’s solution every day through her job as a data and communications manager for Teamwork Englewood. In her role, she ensures residents know what they can do and how they can help in the community by keeping them abreast of neighborhood events, opportunities and youth programs such as the Englewood Police/Youth Baseball League. “We are able to connect young people with police officers so they can learn from each other.”
Nicole also helped design Teamwork Englewood’s Englewood Planning Action Committee (EPAC), and serves as its program manager. EPAC’s goal is to help forecast Englewood’s future and encourage transparency through the planning and developmentprocess in the Englewood community.
“Lots of people look at Englewood as chaotic,” says Nicole. “I value this place, I want others to value it, and I want to be a part of what it looks like in the future.”
This is #EnglewoodRising.