Dogwood Alliance is so excited to welcome Nicole Townsend to our team!
Nicole grew up in rural Missouri. “My family moved to Missouri in the 40s because of the land, my grandfather was a sharecropper. We grew up growing our own food and really having this appreciation and love for the land,” she explained. It was also how her family made money, by selling produce they grew, helping others take care of their land, and teaching people about the land.
Nicole moved to Asheville 11 years ago when she started high school. “It was definitely a culture shock,” she said. Nicole explained that what she likes most about this area is the diversity in activities, whether it’s going for a peaceful hike or going downtown to listen to music with crowds of people.
Prior to working at Dogwood Alliance, Nicole worked in youth development as an Education Director at The Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club in Transylvania County. She was the bridge between families and school, being a mediator and creating success plans for youth who were struggling in school. She set students up with tutors, after school help, and other support systems.
Part of Nicole’s work as an Education Director was working with kids on gardening and healthy habits. The organization produces 1000-2000 pounds of fresh produce every summer, which they share with the kids while teaching them how to grow their own food. She also coordinated a youth program, teaching kids about water quality and policy as it relates to climate change and environmental sustainability. This work lead her to pursue the Administrative Assistant job at Dogwood.Of Dogwood Alliance, Nicole said:
One thing that stands out is the culture of Dogwood. I really feel that this is an organization that wants to take care of the people that work here, and I think very often, working in the nonprofit sector, that’s not always the case because everyone is so focused on the list of things that need to get done that they can sometimes forget about the people who are actually doing the work. It’s nice to be in an environment where everyone is kind of taking care of eachother.
Nicole likes hiking and kayaking, live music, and art. She also loves going to art galleries in Asheville and is planning a few road trips across the Southeast to find out more about this region.