NICE Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2013

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NICE Holds Semi-Annual Student Celebration

 On December 14th, NICE held its semi-  annual student celebration to honor all who  attended education classes at  NICE during  the Fall 2013 semester. Representative  Jason Powell (pictured far left with board  members Will Pinkston, Dr. Julia Lydon and  President/CEO Gat Thach) was the keynote  speaker, describing his personal journey  and passion for education. During the  ceremony  students were presented with certificates of achievement and took class photos with their teachers. After the ceremony students, volunteers, staff and guests shared a delicious poutluck meal featuring dishes from around the world. It was a great time of celebrating our students' achievements.

Student Jeanty Cador (pictured to right in center with fellow student and teacher), had much to celebrate. Mr. Cador is a former school principal from Haiti. In 2010, Mr. Cador left Haiti due to the devastating earthquake and joined his wife in Miami. In 2012, Jeanty moved with his wife and two boys to Nashville. When he started taking ESL classes with NICE in September of 2013, he spoke limited English. In just four short months, however, he has progressed three levels--an unprecedented achievement. If you were to ask him his secret is, he would say it is music. In Haiti, he engaged students through lyrical composition. He approaches his English skills the same way, writing lyrics and presenting them to teachers for evaluation. Music isn't only how Mr. Cador learns--it may be his career. He hopes to soon become a sound technician after completing his ESL studies at NICE. He also aspires to continue his education in other areas. Prior to the earthquake, he was working towards a degree from a seminary in Haiti. Mr. Cador said, "It took me fourteen years to almost finish my degree. Almost, because when the earthquake happened, everything stopped.". Mr. Cador will not be deterred. "I will finish. I will do it", he states confidently.
Though he has faced countless obstacles, Mr. Cador has remained committed to his education, with much to show for it. He is  truly an inspiration to all. Given the many accomplishments of Mr. Cador, and many other successful students at NICE, there was much to celebrate at our recent celebration!


How Can You Help?

We are in constant need of volunteers, interns and donationsVisit these pages to learn how you can assist.

If you are interested in volunteering or interning with NICE, you can visit our program pages to see which program interests you. Contact Allison Cantway at 615-678-7273 or for more details.

If you have any questions or want to find other ways to get involved, simply email and someone will be happy to assist you!

Donate to NICE
Purchase Gat's Book

Announcements & Upcoming NICE Events

Congratulations to Liz Kramer, the NICE Volunteer of the Month for December 2013! ​Liz is a volunteer at NICE with the health program. She teaches the fitness class, performs health screenings and helps with administrative duties to help the health program reach and exceed its goals. Though Liz is a new volunteer, she has shown great commitment and work ethic and has become a wonderful addition to NICE. We are thankful for her many contributions and look forward to all she will continue to accomplish. Thank you, Liz.

We are proud to announce that due to our remarkable growth in staff and services offered, NICE has moved to a new location. We will continue to offer the same client-focused services at 417 Welshwood Drive, Suite 100, Nashville, TN
We are on the first floor of the Sunmark building.
Please come visit us!

English as a Second Language classes are back in full swing. Call the office for registration information if you or someone you know would like to enroll.

President & CEO Gatluak Thach received the "Rising Advocate Award" on International Human Rights Day. Watch the Fox17 News piece about it here.

"Where Are They Now" is a feature NICE dedicates to previous interns and volunteers highlighting their current activities and accomplishments. If you are a former intern or volunteer at NICE and would like to be featured in the newsletter, please contact for more information.

NICE Staff Continues to Grow

With the start of the new year, NICE has made many changes. We have completed our move to a new location. Additionaly, we have hired a few new staff members. We would like to welcome Ashley Coleman (left), Hikmat Ali (center) and Adriana Marquina (right).
Ashley is the Adult Education Coordinator. Her duties will include oversight of the numerous adult education programs and sites at NICE.
Hikmat is a Case Worker with the Resettlement and Employment departments. He assists clients transition to their new life in the U.S., specifically during their first 90 days in the country.
Adriana is a Resettlement Specialist. Her main duties include administrative management within the R&P program, as well as case work for clients in the R&P and Employment Programs.
Each of these individuals brings an array of talents and experiences to the NICE staff and we are thankful to have them join our team. To read more about these or any other NICE staff, visit our staff page here.

Where Are They Now: Jennifer Bohl

Jennifer was the Youth Impact Intern at NICE in the summer of 2012. She worked with Sarah Russ to support the youth summer club program through coordination with Second Harvest Food Bank and the Center for Student Missions. Jennifer said, "Summer club was super fun and all the kids and volunteers were wonderful to work with."
Since working with NICE, Jennifer has graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Political Science. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. Previously, Jennifer worked with Lwala Community Alliance and Manna Project International and hopes to have a career in international development.

We are proud of all Jennifer has accomplished and look forward to what she will do for her community in the future.

Staff of the Quarter: Jordan Peoples

Congratulations to Jordan Peoples who was voted by his peers as the Staff of the Quarter for the 4th quarter of 2013. Jordan is the Community Development Director at NICE. In addition to his regular duties, Jordan worked fervently to ensure the move of NICE's office went as smoothly as possible. He met with the landlord regularly, helped setup the office infrastructure, and made sure all departments were able to function properly after the move.

Jordan was also in charge of the One World, One Dream: 2013 Refugee Benefit. The event was a major success and highlighted the wonderful work being done in the refugee community by both individuals and organizations. Months of planning on Jordan's part resulted in a joyous and successful night.

NICE is grateful to Jordan for the contributions he has made over the past three months and values him as an intergral part of our team.
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