“I saw the impact his wish experience had on both him and his parents,” said Nicole. “I’ve always had a passion for kids and when I was applying for internships and saw there was an opportunity at Make-A-Wish, I knew I wanted to be a part of the joy my friend’s wish gave to him before he passed.”
Nicole moved to Arizona to attend Grand Canyon University and pursue a degree in healthcare. While it was her internship with Make-A-Wish Arizona where she fell in love with the organization’s mission, it is her volunteer work that feeds her soul.
“It’s the best feeling to do a job that doesn’t feel like work. That’s how you know it’s a calling,” said Nicole. “I decided to become a volunteer wish granter because of my internship experience but the skills I’ve learned in this role will help me in my future career as a child life specialist.”
Since her volunteer training this summer, Nicole has already been a part of eight wishes.
“One of my first wishes was Christian’s wish to have a gaming computer,” she said. “That was so fun because the staff at GameStop contributed a lot to make his wish come true and we were able to be there with him all day.
“I recently granted Maximus’ wish for a Coco-themed party - his favorite movie - and we invited his whole family,” she continued. “He could only see lights and shadows at that time and he wasn’t responding to much, so I got a bunch of lights from friends around campus to help decorate for the party. It was so sweet to see how excited he became when he saw those lights.”
While Nicole’s favorite part of her volunteer work is her fellow wish granters, she also believes her involvement has given her a greater sense of independence.
“I’m in college and I feel like I’m still figuring things out for myself. This opportunity with Make-A-Wish has given me a way to contribute to my community and it’s something I’m a part of that’s unique to me. That’s a great feeling,” Nicole said.
If Nicole could grant some advice to future wish granters, she encourages others to be creative.
“Make sure you ask the kids questions or plan fun activities to get them into a mindset that a wish is something unique and very special. Especially if you are a new volunteer, don’t be afraid to ask for help from the Make-A-Wish staff or your co-wish granter,” she said.
Recently Nicole enjoyed meeting wish kid Alessandra, who shares her passion for space.
“My one true wish would be to see a rocket launch,” she shared. “Alessandra is still deciding on her wish, but it’s exciting that we connected and we already have that bond.”