Letting the Universe Guide Her

Nicole Chmielewski
3/16/21

Addictionology, pharmacology and sociology — Nicole Chmielewski has a full course load in Minneapolis College’s Addiction Counseling Program on the books her first semester back to school in more than 20 years thanks to hard work, dedication and the support of a Workforce Development Scholarship. She’s letting the universe guide her as she navigates school and working full-time at a fine men’s hair salon.

“I cried with excitement when I learned I received the Workforce Development scholarship,” said Nicole Chmielewski. “This is the first time in my life I’ve ever won anything and I’m going to make the most of it.”  

Chmielewski grew up in Maple Grove and was living in downtown Minneapolis when the pandemic started and during the heart of the civil unrest in 2020. Recognizing the need for a change, she is now back in her hometown taking advantage of the flexibility provided her through online learning. “I have always been fascinated by how the mind works,” said Chmielewski, who is motivated to support people in working through trauma and understanding the root of challenges they face. “I have my own experiences with addiction and have been in settings that were unhealthy for my recovery. I aspire to help shift recovery environments to help ensure people are as supported as possible as they navigate personal struggles.”

“From my understanding of the legislatively approved funds for this scholarship, Nicole is precisely the type of student these funds are intended to help,” said Deanna Sheely, Vice President of Advancement and Marketing Communications. “Due to COVID-19’s impacts on the service industry, Nicole has decided to divert her career to a field where great need exists. I have every reason to believe she will be successful in her coursework and in obtaining her intended credential. The scholarship will help her manage financially as she continues working throughout her college career.”

“I am often described as caring, loyal, honest and someone who tries to have as much humor in my life as possible,” said Chmielewski. “Minneapolis College is a comfortable place to begin a new path toward supporting people in our community.“

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