Nicole Forgette

Program Director

Nicole grew up in Burnsville, Minnesota in a family of two sets of twins.  She visited her extended family often that lived in Chicago where as an 8 year old became a Frank Thomas White Sox fan not realizing seventeen years later she would discover another amazing White Sox player, Chico Carrasquel. 

Nicole graduated from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse with a bachelor in Recreation Management and a minor in Spanish.   During her years at La Crosse she studied abroad in Spain and spent a summer as a missionary in Nicaragua working alongside Nicaraguans in a Christian camp in the mountains.  After she graduated she knew she had a desire to travel and experience other cultures and wanted to do something for a longer term to live, learn and appreciate the Hispanic culture.  So after working at a YMCA in a Hispanic district in Nashville, TN, she was given the opportunity to do a one year internship at the YMCA in Caracas, Venezuela. 

Nicole’s work at the YMCA was to teach English to people of all ages from 4 years old to 70 years old.  She also trained lifeguards, taught group dynamics and recreation management classes in the YMCA University (all those different classes definitely increased her Spanish speaking skills).  Apart from work, Nicole lived as a Venezuelan.  She became involved in the culture making friends, dancing tambor, salsa and meringue, eating a variety of criollo foods, traveling, and joking around with others (which is the main characteristic of all Venezuelans).

As her year came to a close, she began searching for ways she could stay connected to her now second home country Venezuela.  There were so many great experiences she learned and wanted to share with the rest of the world.  After coincidentally meeting Joe Jaycox in Venezuela and learning of his passion for Venezuela as well, they began putting their dreams together.

Nicole now lives in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI and works as a Recreation Coordinator for people with disabilities.  She travels frequently to Chicago to attend Venezuelan parties and helps out with the Chico Foundation.  She’s not going to let her passion for Venezuela go to waste, but continue to support and influence all cultures for a better tomorrow.





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