Nicole (aka Andy) was born in the US and raised in the Philippines. She is fired by a passion to create a world without poverty. She has worked for Ashoka and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and successfully launched Watson’s first satellite program: Watson Institute Philippines in 2014.
"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no 'brief candle' to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations.” -George Bernard Shaw
Protect your courage
Growing up around poverty in the Philippines, Andy saw how much potential and human capital was wasted by a lack of opportunity and freedom. She seeks to empower young people out of poverty by leveraging education and entrepreneurship.
Andy considers herself a pragmatic idealist and is driven by a deep desire to make a difference in her community. She was born in the US but grew up around poverty in the Philippines, where as a child she was constantly disturbed by economic disparity and grappled with questions on ethics, morality, and human dignity. She saw how much potential and human capital was wasted by a lack of opportunity and freedom, and is driven by a desire to empower young people out of poverty by leveraging education and entrepreneurship.
She moved to the US at 17 to do just that; she is the co-founder of Watson Institute – Philippines, a two-week accelerator program for student entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders. Andy’s goal is to co-create an empathetic, entrepreneurial, and innovative community, where youth are empowered to solve the world’s toughest challenges.
She also serves as the Director for Social Innovation for the International Youth Council, where she teaches “Design-Thinking and the Millennium Development Goals” at the Annual Youth Assembly at the UN, and policy on the sustainable development and the Post-2015 Development Process at the United Nations as a youth delegate.
She’s the kind of person who likes to face her fears head on – she conquered her fear of heights by skydiving. An inveterate traveler and insatiable learner, during her free time you’ll find her on spontaneous adventures that involve hiking, climbing, and anything in the water; immersed in different cultures and cuisines; and intoxicated by poetry and the arts.