Student Spotlight with Nicole Chin-Lyn

Mandisa Thomas
May 31, 2023
Alumni Stories
Nicole Chin-Lyn is a current student in our Executive Program in Digital Media for Social Impact. Nicole works at NYC Kids RISE supporting NYC students to pursue their college and career aspirations through a community-driven wealth-building platform and communities of support.

Nicole speaks about her current role and the passion behind her work

At NYC Kids RISE, we work with families, schools, and communities across the five boroughs to ensure that every public school kindergartner graduate from high school with a financial asset for college and career training, regardless of their family income or immigration status. Through a public-private-community partnership, the Save for College Program is a universal, community-driven wealth-building platform that entire neighborhoods can customize and contribute to narrow systemic inequities that have historically been barriers for communities of color to educational and economic opportunities. I’m passionate about this work because of the powerful message it sends to children and families across the city—that we collectively believe in their dreams and their success.

I also serve on the Board of Directors for First Tech Fund, which supports New York City high school students from low-income and under-served backgrounds to navigate academic and professional opportunities. The nonprofit provides a supportive, adaptive ecosystem where students get access to free technology and broadband, skills training, social capital, mentorship, and more.

Nicole shares her takeaway from convening

Towards the end of our in-person convening at Penn, we spent time reflecting individually and together on how to put our ideas into action. I felt energized by the new tools and frameworks we had learned about and the perspectives and experiences we shared, but also anxious about how other priorities within my work and personal life could take precedence over implementing them. Through our discussions, I heard similar experiences from my classmates who work across different industries and issue areas. I was encouraged to weave those ideas into the fabric of my work and acknowledge how closely connected they are to my personal journey and goals. To me, this was a key moment for internalizing the DMSI question of: How might we center social impact in effective and sustainable ways?

Nicole encourages future applicants

In Braving the Wilderness, Dr. Brené Brown says: “It’s easy to believe that we must exhale all the time, without ever inhaling. But the inhale is absolutely essential if you want to continue to exhale.” I encourage future applicants to consider this executive program as an opportunity to create space for themselves to “inhale.” The community-centered frameworks, theories, and concepts I have been learning about with faculty, fellows, and peers have created space for me to reflect on how I approach, contribute to, and lead projects and provided me with tools and support for incorporating them into my work in real-time.

We thank Nicole for sharing her passion! Follow our page to hear from more brilliant Changemakers. And sign up for our summer information sessions or watch previous recordings from last year.

Did you know DMSI graduates can apply to the Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership (NPL) in an accelerated, on-campus, or online format? The NPL program is a ten-credit master’s program; DMSI Alumni must complete seven credits to graduate.

Applications for the 2024 Executive Program in Digital Media for Social Impact will go live this summer. Watch our page for the official launch and other important information!