Comcast NBCUniversal believes in developing the next generation of community-minded leaders. Kevin Nichols, a former City Year corps member and a current NBCUniversal Page, has always believed in the importance of working toward positive social change. Having served as a YMCA swim instructor in high school, Kevin knew he was passionate about educating children. After graduating from Indiana University in 2016 with a triple major in communication and culture, gender studies, and telecommunications, he was ready to join City Year and become an AmeriCorps member.
A national partner of Comcast NBCUniversal, City Year is a non-profit organization that strives to fill the education gap present in high poverty communities. Corps members are recruited to dedicate one year to supporting public school educators and developing specialized curriculums for students with academic, social and emotional needs. One tangible part of the partnership with City Year is the annual Career Day, during which employees guide corps members through professional workshops on career strategy, interviewing skills, and improving resumes. This year's City Year Career Day is in New York on May 14th, 2018.
Kevin attended Career Day during his year of service and had the opportunity to connect with NBCUniversal Page Program leadership. The Page Program is a 12-month rotational learning and development experience that gives exposure to various areas of the NBCUniversal portfolio. “It was great because I was able to hear professional development advice,” said Kevin. “We also saw a panel discussion of pages where I had the opportunity to ask questions about their experience in the program.” This accompanied by a tour of 30 Rockefeller Plaza from the Pages, was a priceless experience for Kevin, and one that solidified his aspiration to become a Page himself.
During his time with City Year, Kevin worked at a school in East Harlem, New York. For him, the most rewarding aspect was the connections he forged with his third-grade students. “In high-volume classrooms that often exist in underfunded schools, it can be difficult for lead classroom teachers to connect with every student,” he said. Utilizing a “near-to-peer” model that promotes developing bonds with students, Kevin was able to act as a support structure for those in need of individualized attention. Through this experience, Kevin gained valuable insight into what he would like to do with his media career. It reinforced his belief that media professionals have a responsibility to create content that is not only entertaining but educational as well.
"I was able to see the importance of creating socially responsible media firsthand in how my students related to the stories and characters in the movies, games, and television they consumed"
Kevin fulfilled his goal of becoming a Page in August of last year. Since then, he has completed his ambassadorship—in which he gave tours of 30 Rockefeller Plaza and learned what it means to be the face of a company. He has also completed his first rotation with the Talent Acquisition team and the Campus 2 Career team, where he worked on rebranding projects and pitched social media campaigns for productions like the Super Bowl. Kevin is currently in his second rotation with The Golf Channel in Orlando, Fla. After graduating from the Page Program, Kevin hopes to further explore the use of entertainment as an educational tool.
Opportunities like City Year and the Page Program provide young adults with the foundation and tools they need to grow into future leaders. These programs mine for passions and leave participants with a wide view of the world and a focused scope of how they can change it.