A first-generation college graduate and Republican Activist, Nicole places values on the power of education to transform lives and the importance of taking action to combat inequities. Raised in a small rural town in central Maine, Nicole grew up in a low-income, broken home. By the age of sixteen, she had dropped out of high school, and found herself homeless and addicted to heroin. Eventually, she found herself in federal prison for 110 months.
While serving her sentence, Nicole completed several educational programs and worked in the prison’s education department. In this role, Nicole consistently pushed the envelope to create opportunities for her peers, supporting staff in program development. Thereby, increasing apprenticeships from 9 to 23 and developing and/or revising over 50 adult continuing education curricula. Today, her mission to increase opportunities for underserved populations and advocate for smart justice strategies has not diminished.
Nicole Martin proudly serves in Career Services leadership at Southern New Hampshire University, where she also assists in the development of educational programs and resources for justice impacted citizens, as well as supports DEI and social justice Initiatives. She is frequently called upon to speak internally and externally on these subjects, including at Stanford University and the National Center for Victims of Crime.
Since her release from prison in 2014, she has earned her Associates degree in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Individualized Studies in Education and Training with a concentration in Criminal Recidivism, a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration, and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership. She is also a Certified Behavior Change Specialist, as well as has owned a yoga studio for four years. In volunteerism, she serves on the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers Leadership and Recognition Committee and as Vice President for the NH Federation of Republican Women. She collaborates locally, assisting organizations and causes working to create equity in opportunity for all, including serving as NH Lead Organizer for Day of Empathy NH since 2019. She resides happily in Auburn, NH with her fiancé, nephew, and two cats.