Nikki is a graduate of UNC-Greensboro with a degree in Political Science; she also obtained a Non-Profit Management Certificate from Duke University. While still in college, she was a residential counselor at Elon Homes for Children, providing therapeutic supervision of clients (ages 12-21) with emotional and behavioral health needs among many other services. Following graduation, she became a case manager at Elon Homes, managing a caseload of 35 clients. One of her references said that each of her cases were treated as if these children were members of her own family! This speaks volumes about Nikki’s compassionate and caring nature.
After she left Elon Homes for Children, she started her career at Burlington Housing Authority, beginning as a Family Self-Sufficiency Case Manager with 25 cases. In this position, she created programming designed to meet the needs of residents going beyond short-term goals and to help them establish long-term goals by teaching them to manage budgets, soft-skill training, and employment resources. This model has received national recognition.
She has continued her work at BHA and now serves as Program Services Director where she supervises several departments and manages Self-Sufficiency programs in addition to Supportive Housing programs.
Nikki has been extensively involved with the community, volunteering for many different organizations and chairing several boards, including Alamance Partnership for Children, United Way, Hospice of Alamance-Caswell, ARMC Charitable Foundation. And she has still found time to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for Alamance County! Her passion and service also found alignment with the mission of the Women’s Resource Center in Alamance County as she served six years on the Board of Directors.
She has played an active role with the Alamance Chamber of Commerce, chairing and co-chairing several committees and working on their annual golf tournament. In 2020 she became Board Chair, and says that she is learning to take herself out of her comfort zone and becoming more courageous by accepting such challenges.
Another one of her volunteer organizations is the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, where she has been president of the Burlington Junior Women’s Club. Nikki has risen to Third Vice-President of the GFWC of North Carolina. Under her leadership in 2018-2020, clubs across N. C. completed 946 projects, donated over $92,000, and provided over $97,000 in in-kind donations to support the Thriving Children project.
She has been described as a fantastic teammate, always cheerful and exceptional in everything she does. Another person calls her a true champion for equitable access to resources, education and employment who demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to her community. Nikki’s favorite quote is from Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It’s doubtful that people will forget any of these things about Nikki Ratliff!