A 2004 graduate of Harvard College with a B.A. degree in English and her Massachusetts teaching license through the (now-ended) Undergraduate Teacher Education Program, Nicole Shadeed never planned on being an educator long-term. She student-taught in South Boston in her senior year of college, expecting to teach for a few years after graduation. Her experiences as a student growing up in Lawrence, MA; as a first-generation college student; and a teacher in urban schools, Nicole found a personal mission and passion in her roles. Since then, she has centered her work with a perspective of equity and access. After three years teaching at her alma mater, Lawrence High School, Nicole entered graduate school to become a school counselor. Here she solidified that this field would be where she would spend the rest of her career. Focused predominantly on helping students navigate their secondary education and postsecondary options, Nicole has worked in Massachusetts as a public high school teacher and school guidance counselor; a coach for student teachers in a charter school; and as a college counselor at an independent boarding school. She also serves as director of the PALS program, which is an academic enrichment and high school preparation program for middle schoolers from Lawrence, MA.