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Current Scholars

Nichole Smith

Class of: 2017
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
School: Arts and Science
Major(s): Medicine Health and Society

Early on in her educational career, Nichole developed a passion for combatting inequalities and bridging gaps between the communities around her. This interest in helping others was strengthened when she enrolled in Atlanta International School and began to consider the implications of her service on both a local and global scale.

Throughout high school, Nichole strove to participate in service not only as volunteer, but also as a leader. She co-founded Akoma Ntoso (“Linked Hearts”), an organization aimed at supporting Ghana-based program called Play Soccer which brings health and social education to out-of-school children through sports. Through Akoma Ntoso, Nichole helped to forge partnerships between her peers at school and the members of Play Soccer; instead of simply raising funds for the program and blindly sending them off, she and a team of student leaders made an effort to form personal connections through a pen-pal program, Skype correspondence, and events held at school to highlight the beauty of African culture. By the end of Nichole’s senior year, Akoma was able to provide scholarships for two Play Soccer students, purchase sports equipment for the program, and create lasting friendships across cultural borders.

Despite her commitment to her work in Ghana, Nichole did not wish to lose sight of the problems facing her local community. Because of Atlanta’s busy, urban nature, she found ample opportunities for service in the city and made it her mission to encourage other teens in the area to get involved. In 2011, as part of her IB Personal Project, Nichole created “ServeATL”, a free magazine for local high school students listing Atlanta organizations looking for teen volunteers. She also worked closely with the Atlanta Community Food Bank to organize evening trips for students from her school to the Food Bank’s Product Rescue Center (PRC). At the PRC, students collected, organized, and packed donated canned goods to be provided to undernourished families in the Metro-Atlanta area.

Currently, Nichole envisions herself working in the medical field, either as a physician or in public health. She interned at Premier Women’s Healthcare in the summer of 2012 and at the Task Force for Global Health in the summer of 2013, and hopes to use these experiences as well as those at Vanderbilt to more precisely determine what her future will hold. Nichole is extremely grateful to have been accepted into the Ingram Scholarship Program, and looks forward to the growth as a servant and as a person she will experience as part of the Ingram community.