Commit to your passion
Kameko Nichols (BS ’02, AB ’02) is contributing to a healthier planet one tire change at a time.
Her diverse educational experience
Kameko Nichols (BS ’02, AB ’02) is contributing to a healthier planet one tire change at a time. As an independent consultant working in the global public health sector, she tries to help ensure health care reaches remote populations. Her job may seem simple to some, but the logistics of delivering health care can often mean the difference between life or death.
Kameko found a way to have a successful career while helping others at the same time, and she attributes this to her all-encompassing experience at the University of Georgia. By keeping her options open and pursuing several different academic directions in college, she found a career that impassions her. Now, she gives back to her alma mater through the Georgia Fund so that UGA can fund various needs across campus and ensure that future Bulldogs share the same accomplishments that she has had post-graduation—no matter where their path may take them.
“I’ve chosen to give back because I really think that UGA gave me one of the best all-around educations possible,” Kameko said. “I loved every part of my time at UGA and I feel very strongly about my college education. I couldn’t have imagined a more positive experience.”
“I’ve chosen to give back because I really think that UGA gave me one of the best all-around educations possible. I loved every part of my time at UGA and I feel very strongly about my college education. I couldn’t have imagined a more positive experience.”
SHE TOOK RISKS TO FIND A CAREER
Kameko’s path to her current profession was as indirect as the rugged roads her service vehicles often use to bring health care to those in need. Originally from New York, UGA was not an obvious choice. However, upon learning about the prestigious Foundation Fellowship, she felt compelled to apply.
Kameko was deeply impacted by the opportunities and community she found as a Foundation Fellow; the full-tuition scholarship gave her the resources she needed to pursue her many academic interests. Kameko double-majored in biology and religion in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and also chose to take classes in the Terry College of Business. She fostered strong relationships with her professors from the start of her college career, which earned her highly coveted opportunities like working alongside distinguished biology professor, Dr. Kojo A. Mensa-Wilmot.
Kameko now recognizes that her diverse undergraduate education set her up for success; it allowed her to try her hand at many different professions until she found the one that she felt most passionate about. After graduation, Kameko moved to New York to work in investment banking on Wall Street. One year later, she moved to Atlanta where she began volunteering with H.E.R.O. for Children, an organization that supports children affected by HIV/AIDS. Through this, Kameko identified her true passion: public health. She decided to leave the stability of her job in investment banking and pursue a new career path. This year, Kameko became a fully independent consultant in public health, working through the logistics of vaccine distribution to health centers and of patient specimens to laboratories mainly in Africa. By fulfilling a fundamental need for countries, Kameko takes part in their development and makes the world a better place for many.
Kameko’s experience at UGA gave her the resources and confidence to reach her goals. She urges students to explore opportunities beyond their current career goals—which may be subject to change—and make use of the abundant resources at UGA. A Presidents Club member since 2015, Kameko’s generosity has opened many doors for students to activate their talents.
“I hope that my gift helps UGA keep improving,” Kameko said. “Every time I go back I’m so proud of what UGA is able to do and how it continues to grow in terms of reputation and quality.”
Written by Nellie Pavluscenco ’18
Do you have a cause about which you’re passionate? Undesignated gifts to the Georgia Fund go entirely to fund scholarships, allowing talented students in your field to pursue their education and discover how they can change the world.
Kameko with motorcycle riders who transport specimens for Ebola virus testing and other diagnosis in Monrovia, Liberia in October 2015.
A view from the road in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where Kameko traveled to in June 2016 for a specimen transport assessment.