Joining the Peace Corps had always been a lifelong dream for Cashin. She was placed in Armenia and was the community and business development volunteer director for a regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Her marketing degree offered great assistance on this project to empower young women to be leaders in the society. While in Armenia, Cashin opened up the Anti-Corruption Advocacy Center. At the time, there was a lot of government corruption and the advocacy center offered free legal consultation to those affected. She also created plans to have a park built in the center of town and engaged the local mayor and other community leaders to have the plans executed. Garvar Park symbolizes a safe-haven for the townspeople and a place where they can enjoy each other’s company in peace.
There have been many improvements and additions to the park since Cashin left in 2010, such as a mural that was painted on one of the park’s grand walls. In August, she will return to Armenia and is excited to revisit a place that left such a mark on her.
“It is easy to take your life and blessings for granted when you have not seen the other side,” Cashin explained. “I have seen so many different levels of human condition while in the Peace Corps. This experience has modeled my life and made me more conscientious with how I interact with the world.”
After the Peace Corps, Cashin returned to Athens and began working for Flagpole, a local Athens newspaper. In 2012, she came on as coordinator for Citizen Advocacy, a nonprofit organization that matches community advocates with people who are disabled for a long-lasting relationship.
“As of 1995, Citizen Advocacy supports 23 citizen-advocate relationships,” said Cashin.
These relationships are creating social change and community development. “The advocates seek ways to bring their partner’s gifts, interest, and needs to the larger community in a way that is dignified and enhancing to the partner,” said Cashin.
Cashin and the Support Coordinator, Rufus Addison, work side-by-side to recruit advocates and bring awareness to the local community about Citizen Advocacy and its mission.
"Nicole has brought a lot of asset to the organization over the past two years,” said Rufus Addison. “She focuses on bringing the community together, establishing relationships, and that everyone has gifts and value."
Cashin is dedicated to her work and enjoys seeing the community positively affected by these relationships and also her colleagues with Citizen Advocacy.
“I have worked with this organization for 20 years and have not known anyone this young who is so deeply thoughtful and reflective,” said Susan Tate, board president of Citizen Advocacy.