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Nicole  Thompson, Ed.S

Nicole Thompson, Ed.S

Educator, Author & Humanitarian Committed to Serving Urban Youth


Nicole Thompson, Ed.S is an educator, author, mentor to urban youth, and retired school psychologist. She has also served as an early intervention therapist and adjunct professor. Thompson is the creator of Reverse the Adverse, a trauma-informed care training for educators and mental health professionals ​that work with urban students.​ The​ goal of Reverse the Adverse is to raise awareness of the impact that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) has on urban students, and teach functional strategies to better serve such a vulnerable population. Read More >

She is also a co-author in Black Therapists Rock: ​A Glimpse Through the Eyes of Experts ​ in which she shares her story of ACEs and waking up next to her mom’s dead body at 8 years old. She has spoken at Harvard School Mental Health Conference where she received the first standing ovation in over 10 years. Nicole’s work has also been featured in numerous publications, with her most recent appearance in Forbes. 

She completed her undergraduate at Temple University and her graduate studies at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine with her Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Interview on WURD Radio - Snippet

Educator's Role in Helping Students Heal Trauma

Reverse the Adverse

Speech Topics

How to Heal Yourself From What’s Hurting You (Student Keynote/Workshop)

We all go through challenging times at different points in our lives, and COVID-19 has proven that. For some, it’s during childhood and often those moments qualify as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Nicole shares the most challenging times of her life that happened when she was a child. She accounts living with a depressed mom that lost her will to live when she was only 8 years old, how she felt waking up next to her mom’s dead body, and how she was able to overcome that trauma. She then shares practical tips that students can use to help them overcome challenging times and heal themselves from what’s hurting them so they can thrive despite their current circumstances.

The Trauma of Poverty (Educators Keynote)

With 1 in 7 children living in poverty, economic hardship is the most common adverse childhood experience (ACE) reported nationally in almost all states. Poverty breeds trauma and unfortunately many of our students are negatively impacted by it. Nicole recalls her challenging childhood years in poverty that culminated in her waking up next to her mom’s dead body when she was only 8 years old. She makes the connection of her own trauma to that of the many students currently suffering through similar circumstances, especially due to COVID-19. She provides three key practical tips all educators can use to help meet their students' emotional needs during such trying times.

Reverse the Adverse (Workshop)

This workshop is for educators in urban districts who struggle to motivate students to learn, lose instruction time due to problem behaviors, and want to improve student/teacher relationships which ultimately improves student performance, teacher satisfaction and overall morale. Nicole provides a space for educators to reflect on their own personal bias, and how it may interfere with the entire learning process. She also teaches about trauma, how it manifests in school, and provides a practical proven approach that uses functional strategies to transform classrooms from places of discipline to that of learning and thriving. Lastly, educators are given a step-by-step approach to develop a healthy daily self-care routine to prevent overwhelm and burnout. Given such, educators can effectively educate, engage, empower, and instill hope in vulnerable students, thus changing projected negative outcomes.

Are You Contributing to the School to Prison Pipeline? (Workshop)

The overuse of punitive punishment continues to cause a disproportionate number of Black students to be pushed out of education into the juvenile justice system. In many cases, the behaviors that are being punished are cries for help and coping mechanisms to alleviate the negative impact of personal and educational trauma. In fact, over 90% of those in the juvenile justice system report suffering from childhood trauma. In this session, we will discuss how trauma manifests in school, reflect on ways which educators may be contributing to the overuse of punitive punishment, and teach educators how to provide a safe place for learning while effectively decreasing disruptive behaviors.