Nicole M. Fields
President | Social Impact Consultant
It wasn’t until I received the opportunity to attend boarding school in the richest county in Pennsylvania that I truly understood the complexities of poverty. In college I dug into sociology and social work to better understand the systems of opportunity and oppression and how they remain despite our perceived advances in policies, economy, and race relations. But after working in education for over 10 years, I saw these best practices and theories were missing opportunities to empower communities for long-term impact. In the space between our research and our results are people’s lived experiences and the interaction of human beings. It is not what we do, but how we do it that makes change stick. In order to create social change that’s long lasting, we will need to balance our focus on empowering individuals, valuing relationships, creating collective responsibility, and developing deliberate processes that break current systems and help people move their vision for themselves and the world around them to a reality.”
Going from South Bronx public schools to a private boarding school in the richest county in Pennsylvania transformed Nicole’s life. At 13 years old, Nicole was admitted to the exclusive Oliver Scholar program that prepares high-achieving Black and Latino students for success at top independent high schools and prestigious colleges. She went on to earn a BA and MSW from the University of Pennsylvania and dedicated the next decade to eliminating inequity by (re)designing education and human services systems in large cities like New York and Newark.
Driven by the transformative effect that education has had on her life, Nicole believes that every young person has the right to equitable educational opportunity in order to fulfill their aspirations. Whether teaching best practices in youth development to urban educators, organizing a citywide college going campaign or counseling first generation college freshman, she has dedicated her career to social justice through education. Most notably, Nicole has secured over $30M in government, foundation, and private funding; connected thousands of students to workforce opportunities; and increased high school graduation and college persistence rates.
As CEO of Level Fields, Nicole challenges systems to achieve equity and brokers partnerships between like-minded public, private, and nonprofit institutions to maximize impact. A strategic and tactical partner, she comfortably pivots between planning, engagement, and execution on projects that make a positive social impact. Nicole resides in her hometown, the Bronx, and enjoys traveling and collecting cookbooks from different countries.