Remember the classic Christmas carol, “12 Days of Christmas”? For our Christmas Prize Home Ambassador, Nicole, this carol hits a different note.
“On the first day of Christmas supporters gave to me…a future of possibilities,” sings Nicole.
Supported by Endeavour Foundation’s Learning and Lifestyle Hub in Brisbane for more than 16 years, Nicole has hit many milestones that both her and her family are proud of.
Nicole has always set out to do two things: be more social and speak up for herself.
When Nicole was a child, she turned to her mum one day and said she no longer wanted to go grocery shopping, an activity she loved. Her reason? People were always staring.
Her mum, Dianne, taught her to say ‘hello’ to the onlookers. This small act gave Nicole a confidence boost to start her journey into becoming who she is today.
“When Nicole was born, we didn’t know what kind of life she was going to be able to have. We had no experience in this, we just knew that we loved her for who she is and would do whatever we could to support her needs,” said Nicole’s dad, John.
When Dianne first heard her daughter Nicole sing the national anthem, she cried.
It was at an awards assembly at Nicole’s school. Dianne had been told that Nicole, 16 years old at the time, was going to sing, but she didn’t really believe it.
Sure enough, Nicole got up on stage, in front of the whole assembly; teachers, students, families, and sang. She was confident and beaming. “I stood there and cried my heart out,” said Dianne.
“When Nicole is on stage, she shines. It changes her,” said Dianne.
Nicole’s starring role was just one in a long line of moments that have shown her parents that life has a way of surprising you, and a bright future of possibilities for their daughter.
Nicole’s favourite class at the Learning and Lifestyle Hub by far is art.
“I love painting,” said Nicole. “Painting makes me happy.”
It’s clear that Nicole’s happiness lies very much in the arts. One of Nicole’s biggest life goals is to work on her speech, and with that goal in mind, she began taking drama and singing classes.
Nicole may struggle sometimes with her words, but when she started singing songs and performing on stage, a passion unlocked within her.
“When I speak, I have a stutter, but when I sing or rap, there is no stutter and I can stand up for myself,” Nicole said.
Nicole’s parents are incredibly proud of how far Nicole has grown with the support of Endeavour Foundation. “Performing has really helped her grow her confidence. She’s so much more confident now than she used to be. Now, she’s advocating for herself, speaking up, expressing her wants and needs,” they said.
If you ask Nicole what she thinks about performing, she has a straightforward answer:
“It’s my life.”
As a Prize Home Ambassador, Nicole shares her story with our valued supporters to showcase the impact a lottery ticket can have on supporting people with disability to live, learn, work and flourish.
As part of her role as the Christmas Prize Home Ambassador, Nicole was the first person to take an exclusive tour of the Prize Home with our Head of Lotteries, Kirsty.