PORTLAND, Maine – Nicolle (Nici) Carbone, Esq. has been hired as the new Executive Director of the Kids First Center, a local non-profit agency that has been focusing on helping children and parents cope with the effects of separation and divorce since its founding in 1998.
Nici comes to Kids First with a wealth of relevant experience. With a law degree, as well as a Masters degree in marriage and family therapy, she offers a deep understanding and appreciation for the two professions that originally came together and founded the Center. Providing educational and collaborative opportunities for attorneys and mental health professionals around the complex legal and emotional issues surrounding divorce and separation is an important tenet of the Kids First mission.
“This is a very exciting time for the Kids First Center,” says Kimberly Kump, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Nici is a welcome addition to our agency, and we are confident that under her leadership, Kids First will carry on our mission of helping children thrive by supporting families throughout the state of Maine who are facing the painful challenges of divorce and separation. Our founding Executive Director, Peg Libby, leaves a legacy at the Center and we feel strongly that Nici is the right person to move us forward upon Peg’s retirement in May.”
Nici’s interest in both family work and the legal world have helped to bring her to the Kids First Center team. Nici has extensive experience with children and families, and particularly, a deep concern for the plight of children in difficult family situations.
“I am passionate about improving the experiences of children in our community,” says Carbone. “The separation and divorce of a child’s parents can be one of the most trying, and often traumatic, experiences of one’s life. The Kids First Center helps children and parents address and process the grief, loss, and myriad range of emotions that come with this changing family dynamic. The Center also supports children by assisting their separating parents in putting their Kids First. I couldn’t be more honored to be part of such an important organization.”
Nici was trained in marriage and family therapy by The Family Clinic at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT, where she obtained her Masters degree, and with Milford Youth and Family Services in Milford, CT, where she interned. Prior to and during this time, she spent several years working with domestic violence agencies in Connecticut and Florida, both as a community/professional educator and a child advocate. Nici then received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maine School of Law. While at Maine Law, she worked at and was a student attorney for the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, was an extern with the Office of the Attorney General, Child Protection Division, and was a recipient of a Public Service scholarship to intern with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), where she also volunteered as a Guardian ad litem. Following law school, Nici worked as a Guardian and eventually became part of the staff at CASA, assisting volunteer Guardians in child abuse and neglect cases for the State of Maine Judicial Branch.
Nici has developed her administrative, leadership, and staff/volunteer management expertise in nonprofit and governmental organizations. Most recently, while working for the American Heart Association, Nici worked with hundreds of dedicated volunteers, not only to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke, but to raise approximately 1.5 million dollars for essential research and prevention education. She has left her position as a Manager at the Maine Judicial Branch to join Kids First, where for three years she supervised two departments, oversaw several major policy changes, and managed the implementation of a new digital technology system for the courts.
Nici is passionate about education as a tool for growth. She has taught students from grammar school to college, has co-facilitated psycho-educational batterer intervention groups, and is a professional ice skating coach, working with figure skating and hockey students for almost 30 years. She obtained her Bachelors degrees in Arts and Education at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada.
In her spare time, Nici likes to travel, spend time with friends and family, read a great book, see a great film, and most importantly, spend time with her dog and her husband.