Havian Nicholas

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When new students gather this fall at the top-ranked College of Nursing at NYU, a young woman who got a boost from The Children’s Aid Society—and who is now a mentor for other kids—will be among them.

Havian Nicholas, a summa cum laude graduate of Howard University, has achieved a lot in her young life. At Howard, where she majored in sociology and minored in community health, she was an executive board member of the student government and a founder of a grassroots mentorship organization. A lifetime member of Phi Beta Kappa, she was the recipient of a humanitarian award during Howard’s annual end-of-year pageant.

This accomplished young woman first got involved with Children’s Aid at the Next Generation Center (NGC), our one-stop South Bronx hub that supports young people ages 14 to 24 as they move toward adulthood and independence. NGC offers job readiness training and subsidized internships, educational guidance and advocacy, and help with housing and building life skills, along with programming in creative and visual arts and fitness and recreation.

Since Havian was already showing great promise back then, she was placed on a track to higher education through our EXCEL (Educational eXcellence Creating Empowered Leaders) Program. Unlike scholarship programs that focus only on a student’s financial need or academic ability, the EXCEL program includes additional core components such as financial literacy, career exploration and goal-setting that—along with traditional academic, social and scholarship support—prepare motivated but underprivileged young people for college and the world of work.

“Havian is a role model for her peers in EXCEL,” says the program’s director, Miguel A. Montes. “She continues to inspire young people through her work on- and off-campus.”

Before she sets out on her path to a career in nursing, however, Havian is continuing her exceptional pattern of inspiring others by giving back. She will spend her summer volunteering at an emergency shelter in Belize, where she will counsel and educate battered women who have escaped physical and sexual abuse.