Community Stories: Nicole Watts, Novi

Published on April 25, 2022 in

During my freshman year of high school, I got involved with Spark – an eight-week program where young women learn about creating boundaries, forming healthy relationships, and achieving personal goals. The program is run by HAVEN, a nonprofit that supports victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Towards the end of the program, I learned they were forming a youth advisory board and was excited to get involved.

As young people, we’re often overlooked. It’s not fair to push us to the side and not include us in the decisions that are being made that impact us. That’s why I was happy to volunteer to be a board member. It’s an opportunity to have a direct impact on people and policies and to really be heard. Now I’m a Junior and I’m leading the board’s marketing efforts. I’m proud to have designed a t-shirt that was used to raise funds for HAVEN and to be involved as a producer and host on the organization’s “Let’s Talk About It” podcast.

Of all the things I’ve done as a board member, my favorite is to design activities for the kids such as crafts, reading, games, etc. – understanding that despite their circumstances, they’re kids and just like any other kids, they want to have fun. My own life has been changed as well because I’m now able to better coach my friends who come to me when they’ve dealt with issues of domestic violence. It’s empowering to know there are resources out there and I can help.

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