February 2022 Volunteer of the Month - Nicheryl Knibb
March 15 2022
StandUp for Kids - Orange County
At StandUp for Kids we value treating our homeless youth in creative ways, facilitating volunteer opportunities for those with a shared passion to make an impact in their own way.
Nicheryl Knibb, a volunteer for the social media team here, spends most of her time caring for others. Growing up and working around her aunt’s group home she observed the obstacles and struggles that these children and adolescents faced. Although the group home closed after her aunt’s passing, this desire to give back remained ingrained and now, close to retirement, she decided that volunteering was the first step in reviving her aunt’s dream.
Nicheryl is currently the Director of Data Quality for Optum, a healthcare company whose goal is to create a world with equitable healthcare. Her company, which places a high priority on community service, connected her with various organizations where her skills were needed.
Her desire to help displaced youths, and concerns about the growing number of homeless youths in Orange County, made working with StandUp for Kids a natural fit. She offered her help with an open mind, open heart and an innate passion for community.
“What I liked about StandUp for Kids is that it provides a path and a support system for these youth,” she said.
Fortunate enough to have a strong support system who helped her navigate the world, she understood the importance of diverse and inspiring role models.
Within the last few months that she began volunteering we have seen a positive improvement in our social media outreach and she continues to search for innovative ways to reach more audiences.
She finds herself continuing to learn while giving back and said that, something people should take in consideration when contemplating volunteering, is learning a new skill. Although not her craft, she accepted to be a part of the social media team where she has not only developed new skills, but has also gained a better understanding of what it means to be homeless, or at risk of being homeless, something she finds particularly disturbing amongst our young community.
She said, “the big thing is to recognize the problem and then look for ways to make a difference and not feel as though, if you're not making a difference on a grand scale that you don't count”.
In her personal life Nicheryl embodies the vision that StandUp for Kids has spearheaded. She remains inspired by her husband, her two sons and her daughter-in-law who motivate her to make a difference in the world.
“I’m hoping that everyone that I come into contact with, that they feel that knowing me, or my presence made their life better,” she said.