Director of Housing and Employment
A Chicago native and Thornwood Alumnus, Nikiya received her Bachelors of Science in Public Health along with a minor in Kinesiology and Physical Education, from Northern Illinois University. Nikiya has always had an interest in community wellness and emotional healing. After working in the field as an HIV Outreach Coordinator and Pregnancy Test Counselor, Nikiya decided to go back to school to obtain her Master’s Degree in social work with a concentration in mental health from the University of Illinois at Chicago. With over 8 years of experience of providing HIV services in the North and South Lawndale and surrounding communities, she has been dedicated to help changing the lives of those who are often stigmatized and overlooked. Currently, she works fulltime as a Supervisor/Medical Case Manager at Mount Sinai Hospital working directly with clients and families who are infected and affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Nikiya also had the privilege of working at a transitional living facility for homeless youth, where she was able to assist and equip youth with essential skills on learning how to live independently. Nikiya is now working on obtaining her licensure to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, where she can focus on helping clients learn to cope and deal with their past traumas; learning to live in thrive in the present; in order to be better advocates for themselves and family members in the future. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she hopes to become adept at helping other people see and understand connections and that we all have a sense of purpose and by finding innovative ways to link people of color to mental health services.
“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other - not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future”.