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Nicole Liberatore

Nicole Liberatore - 2019 Nominee
Position: Special Programs Manager
Organization: NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia
Current Location: United States, North America
Bachelor of Arts, Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University/The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Certificate of Completion, Virginia Progressive Leadership Project, 2018.
Tier 1 Domestic Violence Training, Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, Fairfax County Government, 2014.
Certificate of Completion, 20-Hour General Mediation Training, Fairfax County Government, 2013.
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    George Mason Alumni Association Service Scholarship for outstanding service to the community.
    Awarding Organization:
    George Mason University Alumni Association
    Date Awarded:
    April 1, 2012
75 Public Votes Reached!
Established & manages a Student Advocacy Fellowship teaching students to understand grassroots organizing and electoral & policy processes. Graduates have successfully lobbied for Plan B on campus and increased awareness of anti-choice fake clinics. – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I designed a yearlong experiential learning program in leadership, advocacy, and reproductive healthcare for college students.
Our work through the fellowship includes a campaign to add emergency contraception (EC) to a vending machine on campus at one university—the first and only university in VA to do so. Within a year, the number of participating machines has tripled, and students are purchasing over one pill every other day. I also helped students expose a fake health clinic which routinely targets students with misleading campaigns about pregnancy options. An undercover investigation captured lies such as birth control causes breast cancer. At another, I helped students launch a hotline that has provided almost 30 doses of EC, 100+ condoms, and multiple rides to healthcare centers.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I started taking birth control as my doctor’s recommended treatment for an illness. But years later, I was in college, alone, and broke. When my prescription was up for renewal, I faced a challenge: how do I find the resources to drive to my doctor, pay for the visit, miss class, and take time off at a job barely keeping me afloat? I couldn’t do it. I was in class when my symptoms returned. I vividly remember the tunnel vision, chills, near-fainting-- and I knew I had to do something different.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

My core value is self-determination, and that means trusting young people to deliver the work their community needs, drawing on their knowledge of its intricacies, challenges, and opportunities. I help survey their environments and identify gaps in access, but I never dictate their process. I also always lead by example. I often travel hours to personally lead students through their first experience in taking an action. Our graduates consistently report they can look up to me as a role model.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

One of my core principles is to support the fellows financially. For many students, unpaid professional experience can be a huge barrier to entry-- it was for me at that age. I purposefully designed this program so each participant receives a $2000 stipend plus the cost of travel and program materials. By providing financial support, we are better able to ensure the program is equitable and accessible to all young people, regardless of their income level or financial background.

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