Volunteer Spotlight: Richard Nichol

Richard Nichol believes in the golden rule: “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.”

The five-year volunteer at New Beginnings Family Academy doesn’t see his mentoring work end at the close of the school day, the school year or even after a student graduates.


“You need a team in life to guide you,” Richard says of why he mentors. “I bring honesty about life.”

Richard has mentored several NBFA students in his years – sometimes a few at a time – and stays in touch with them, continuing visits once they go on to their chosen high school or college.

The Wilton resident and product of Bayside, Queens came into volunteering at NBFA after retiring from a successful 35-year career in finance and insurance.

“I want the kids to see all of their options," he said.

Richard talks with the NBFA students he mentors about their hopes and dreams and has them contemplate their future goals and how they will get there. Recently, he has taken to creating vision boards with students. These boards are a collage of images and words, representing these student's wishes or goals, that serve as inspiration and motivation.

“I knew when I was growing up in Bayside in a small apartment that I wanted a staircase when I grew up,” he said. “I’ll often show (the students) the place where I grew up.” In doing so, Richards shares how far he’s come from humble and meager beginnings. He feels it can inspire them and “They can relate to the growth and vision.”

Richard lives with his wife Joan in Wilton and has two grown children. When not mentoring he likes to travel and sail.

The purpose of NBFA’s mentor program is to help our students build relationships for positive change. The emphasis is on relationship building rather than academic guidance. The mentor program model compliments NBFA's progressive education model.

We are always looking for new mentors/volunteers! If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Audrey Nefores at anefores@nbfademy.org or 203-610-6267.