Wellness Coordinator and Public Health
Bachelor in Sociology and Spanish at Emory University
Masters in Public Health at University of Georgia
Meet Nikaela Frederick MPH, a University of Georgia College Public Health alum, is working as a Wellness Coordinator and working alongside older adults in Atlanta to help benefit their quality of life. Nikaela is the only child of Baby Boomer parents and has had the fortune of spending time with several relatives who made it make it to the oldest old age category. Being surrounded by older generations from an early age, Nikaela developed a certain comfort level with older adults. Nikaela found comradery not only with peers but also in older generations. Even with this interest, it wasn't until her junior year of college that she first learned that there was such a thing as the study of aging. She learned about education and careers related to agingwhile taking a sociology of aging course.
The course required the students to spend quality time with older adults through projects and volunteerism. After spending time with older adults in the community, Nikaela was hooked. After graduating from Emory University with a degree in Sociology and Spanish, Nikaela was not exactly sure what path she wanted to take but knew that she would return to school to pursue a masters degree. Before jumping back into school, Nikaela stumbled across an AmeriCorps program that was dedicated to serving older adults. Through this program, Nikaela worked as an Activity Coordinator in a diverse independent living senior high-rise. She enjoyed her work and the position immensely, solidifying her interest in wanting to work with the aging population. From that experience Nikaela decided to support older adults in their goals to stay active and engaged, achieving optimal aging. In order to fulfill this goal, Nikaela returned to school to pursue Public Health.
Nikaela was drawn to Public Health because it is a broad area of study that is complimentary to her sociology background. She chose to concentrate in Gerontology as well as Health Promotion and Behavior to achieve her ultimate career goal. When first arriving on the scene, she sought out possible places to volunteer and found one an agency that was serving older adults in ways far beyond the average senior facility. The agency was tackling almost every major issue that elders face and Nikaela knew she had to get involved. She started by volunteering and ended up interning with the agency. During this time, a position for a wellness coordinator opened. Nikaela applied and immediately after graduation was blessed with the job! A year and a half later, Nikaela is just as enthused about my job as she was upon graduation!
As a wellness coordinator Nikaela coordinates and sometimes facilitates activities, fitness classes, social events, educational seminars and outings with older adult clients to support a positive quality of life and optimal aging. Nikaela enjoys being a part of an intergenerational exchange as her clients help teach her about life and she helps them stay connected to the modern world. It is very rewarding for Nikaela to see her goals and vision coming to fruition.
Nikaela Frederick, MPH career advice: "Being multidisciplinary is a huge plus! In working with older adults, such a myriad of needs come up amongst the great diversity of individuals."