Nicole's Story

Meet our Founder

Nicole Lynn Lewis serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Generation Hope, an organization which she founded in March 2010. As CEO, Nicole oversees all aspects of Generation Hope’s operations.

Nicole founded Generation Hope because after completing college as a teen mother despite tremendous obstacles, she wanted to help other teen parents earn their college degrees and achieve stable and successful futures. She named the organization Generation Hope because in her own words, "Hope is the number one, necessary, secret ingredient to anyone’s success."

In just five years, Nicole has created a truly unique and thriving organization that is gaining national attention for its sole focus on college completion for teen parents.  She is emerging as a leader in the youth, higher ed, and teen pregnancy/parenting fields.

Prior to founding the organization, Nicole worked for five years with other nonprofit organizations dedicated to youth and/or poverty, providing expertise in the areas of strategic planning, fundraising, and marketing/public relations. Before her nonprofit work, Nicole was a communications and public relations professional for two years with companies in the Washington DC area, such as GEICO. She is also a nationally known author and speaker on topics such as teen pregnancy and parenting, youth development, goal achievement, and self empowerment.

A 2014 CNN Hero, Nicole holds a Master’s degree in Social Policy and Communication from George Mason University and a Bachelor’s degree in English from the College of William & Mary. She has been honored by several organizations, including Women in Government Relations and Zonta. Nicole was named the 2013 Distinguished Alumna by George Mason University's School of Public Policy for her innovative work with youth through the founding of Generation Hope and was elected to the William & Mary Alumni Association Board of Directors in that same year.  Also in 2013, Nicole was selected and inducted into the the National Leadership Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa.  In 2014, Nicole was named a "Champion of Change" in honor of American Graduate Day by PBS.  She is also a two-time TEDx speaker and in 2017 was named a top Minority Business Leader by the Washington Business Journal and top "40 Under 40" by Washingtonian Magazine. Nicole previously served on the Board of Directors for Healthy Teen Network, a national organization focused on teen pregnancy, parenting, and prevention.

Nicole and her husband, Donté Lewis, live in Maryland with their two daughters and son.

Read a Letter from Nicole

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I just think you’re an incredible person.
— TV Personality Steve Harvey to Nicole in October 2012