WIth a background in urban planning, policy, landscape architecture and business—Nichole Battle is using her superpowers for good as the CEO of GEDCO, an organization that provides affordable, supportive housing and emergency services to low-income seniors.
As one of the many roles she plays at GEDCO, Nichole serves as Firesoul at the ThanksGiving Place—the Sacred Place on the campus—custom-built to serve its unique populations, many of which have disabilities. The space features a labyrinth and a bell tower with carillon bells that serve as a sort of community “hearth” to gather together, find solace and be uplifted.
“Sacred Places are symbolic of spiritual places. They are places that create and represent peace. Given what is going on in the world today, it is places like this that help us focus on what is important, filtering out the unnecessary noise of our day to day.”
It is the act of joining a team of impassioned people at GEDCO that inspires Nichole. She believes in the collective strength of people coming together, aligned by a shared mission. Her energy and positive spirit is not only contagious, but effective.
“A Firesoul is someone who believes in peace and everything that is an example of peace in the natural and built environment. Someone who is positive and someone who believes that giving is more important than receiving.”
ThanksGiving Place is brimming with intergenerational use—both active and passive. Tai Chi, weddings, school cookouts, community events are commonplace; alongside a steady stream of people seeking a mindful encounter with nature. All are welcome; and all leave inspired with a heightened sense of peace and gratitude—the same way one feels after an encounter with its Firesoul, Nichole.
Photo credit: Maureen Porto.