Get to know 2005 FHS Alumna Nicole Harris Nelson.
Where were you born and what year did you graduate from Foley High School?
I was born in Mobile, AL, and I graduated from Foley in 2005.
Did you participate in any extracurricular activities? Were you any good?!
I was a member of the Mighty Band from Lion Land’s color guard. I started my 8th grade year and continued through my high school career. Individually I like to think that I was good, but it was really the whole group of girls that made us good. We all pushed each other and helped each other achieve our goals. It was a fun time.
Did you go to college, business, or technical school after graduation?
I graduated from Faulkner with an Associate Degree in Social Sciences, from Troy with a Bachelors in Latin American/ American History, and I am currently enrolled in the Master’s program at Troy in Asian/African/European History. My graduate classes won’t start until May though.
What sort of jobs have you done since graduation? Do you have a favorite?
I was with Baldwin EMC for five years right after high school and since then, I have had a couple of jobs in the vacation rental industry. I am currently working at Brett Robinson as the Photography Manager and really love it. Although I think my favorite job past high school would be teaching Ballroom. I taught Ballroom dancing for almost 10 years. It is one of my passions.
If you hadn’t become a _____, what might you have done?
This is where it gets tricky. I am not doing what I want to do forever. I have always had a passion for teaching. When I was a child, I knew I wanted to be a fourth grade teacher. Well, as I got older and realized I don’t really like 4th graders. I thought that may be an issue. However, my passion for teaching has not changed. My goal is to finish my graduates program and do one of two things. One, find a History position on a college level or two; find a job as a museum curator. I know that probably doesn’t sound overly fascinating to many other people, but to be able to teach about our history and how we can change our future is amazing. What’s the old saying “You can’t know where you are going, until you know where you came from.”
What life lessons has adversity taught you?
Just because you’re down, doesn’t mean you’re defeated. You can always stand back up and win the fight.
What are one or two things you really miss about high school?
I miss going and hanging out in Ms. Johnson’s class. She was my favorite teacher in high school and made me believe that I could be anything I wanted to be. She was part of the reason why I grew to love history so much and decided it would be my field of study.
Who was the person who most influenced you and how?
I know this is probably cliché, but hands down my mother. My mother taught me so much. She is such a Godly woman and through her teachings, I am a better wife, mother, and friend. She is hands down the most amazing woman I know. I can only hope that I am as much a blessing to my children as she has been to me.
I can remember telling my mother a lie in high school (and for those of you that knew me….it was kind of a big deal for me to lie) I couldn’t sleep and finally at 2:00 a.m., I had to go tell my mother the truth. Instead of scolding me, she let me cry and told me that since she knew the truth, now we could work through it. That’s the kind of person she is. She is someone who pushed me but also held me when I needed it.
I love her with my whole heart.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Hands down, Rome. The history there is unreal. Not to mention the art and just the general splendor!
What is one thing you would encourage high school students to do before they graduate?
Look at all your options; don’t just jump into something because you can. You will soon start making decisions as an adult. Look at every outlet you can and then make an informed decision. You don’t have to have it together just yet.
I know some people who have had life plans when we were in high school. It was a little on the unrealistic side to plan out what year you would get married and what year you would have children. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a plan, but if it doesn’t work out, I PROMISE it is not the end of the world. You will move on and you will look back in ten years and think, “In the grand scheme of things, that really didn’t matter.”