Nicole LaFreniere, State University of New York (SUNY) College at Cortland
Nicole LaFreniere’s service focuses on economic development and entrepreneurship. In so doing, she addresses one of the most fundamental issues facing our community – opportunity. SUNY Cortland is located in Cortland, New York, a typical northeast community recovering from the erosion of its manufacturing base. Consequently, it is imperative that our campus and our community work together to improve the economic viability of our community. This is the work in which Nicole is involved. She first served our community as a half-time SUNY Cortland AmeriCorps member in 2013 for the Cortland Downtown Partnership. In that capacity, she worked to sustain and expand business opportunities (and jobs) in our downtown area. She continues to work on economic development issues through participation in an economic development-oriented internship. On campus, she volunteers in multiple capacities and organizations. And she serves for the best reason, because it is the right thing to do. Nicole is someone who is capable of inspiring and engaging others. She leads by example as well as through the application of her expanding repertoire of leadership skills, particularly her positive outlook and her persistence.