Nicole Cooper is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Young Center’s San Antonio office. She graduated from the University of North Texas with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Politics and Diplomacy, and English Literature, and has since found her passion in working with refugee and migrant populations. Following graduation, Nicole interned with the International Rescue Committee, serving in their Job Readiness/ESL Program and spent time abroad as a TaLK Scholar, teaching English in rural South Korea. Upon her return, Nicole worked in the Dallas area office of Refugee Services of Texas serving in multiple roles including Youth Mentor Coordinator, Housing Coordinator, and Volunteer Coordinator. She most recently finished up work with a private Dallas law firm, assisting with federal employment cases and hopes to attend law school in the near future.
What made you interested in the field of immigration law?
For as long as I can remember I’ve always had this fascination with the American Dream and the idea that no matter where you’re from or what language you speak, if you come to this country and work hard, you’ll be accepted and succeed. Recently however, it appears that, once again, this notion is under attack. Being active in the field of immigration law gives me the opportunity to challenge those attacks head on by championing the beauty, strength and resiliency of immigrants everywhere.
What drew you to the Young Center’s work?
Whatever your nationality, skin color, religion, or status, it is my firm belief that everyone deserves to have their voice heard. The Young Center grants a voice to those children who would otherwise go unheard, and in doing so brings hope to others still living in silence. I can’t imagine a better organization to be a part of.
Who is your personal hero?
It would be impossible for me to say I have one single person that I can identify as my overarching hero, because over the course of my life I’ve been impacted by so many. In this line of work, especially, I’ve been fortunate enough to witness complete strangers offer one another smiles, support, and words of reassurance, and even been the recipient of quite a few too. I’ve seen small acts of kindness and enormous displays of caring, and each and every time I’ve been inspired, uplifted, and encouraged. I think it’s safe to say that all of these individuals are my hero. They’re the ones who seek to bring light to others near and far through various forms, and will be the galvanizing force that changes the world.
What books are you reading for fun? What’s your favorite movie?
I’ve had my nose buried in LSAT prep books over the past few months so I’ll spare you the gory details of that, and instead let you in on my rather embarrassing obsession with Superhero movies. I’m sure some already know where this is going, but as such – by far, no contest – my favorite movie is of course The Dark Knight (one of the best Batman movies ever made). I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it at least 50 times since it was released.