Familiar Faces: Mother of four stays busy volunteering in El Dorado Hills region

By: Menka Belgal, Telegraph Correspondent
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EL DORADO HILLS, CA- Between managing her family of four children, fundraising, volunteering for Girl Scouts, schools, sports, and her church, Angela Nicholson keeps herself busy.

What were you doing before having a family? 

I was an Advertising Director, and really enjoyed bringing businesses and the community together.  I worked for Brehmn Communications at The Roseville Press-Tribune, and prior to that at The Sacramento Bee for several years.  I have a degree in political science from U.C. Santa Barbara with an emphasis in International Relations.  I was accepted as an international scholar at National ChengChi University in Taipei, so have a certification there as well.  I've taken language courses in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and American Sign Language.  My volunteer experience with a non-profit lobbying group (after the Tian'anmen Square Massacre in 1989) led me to speaking in both Mandarin and English at a rally at the State Capitol.  I've volunteered for various non-profits during and after college, so I knew it would be something I'd always continue.  Girl Scouts has been a great opportunity for me to reach and serve other charitable organizations.

How long have you been volunteering for Girl Scouts? 

This is my 10th year as a volunteer for Girl Scouts.  I started each of my three daughters' troops when they were Daisies in kindergarten.  I was also a Girl Scout for three years as a child.

What do you like most about your position with them? 

What I like most is helping the girls make a difference in the community.  I've served as a troop leader, held various positions on the service unit team and board including the 100th Anniversary Liaison to Council, award advisor, and events director.  I've organized many multi-troop activities from caroling at the El Dorado Hills Senior Center to bridging ceremonies ("graduating" to the next level).  Near and dear to my heart is the annual World Thinking Day (multi-cultural fair), which I've been a part of for the past 10 years and chaired for the past four years.  I'm happy to report that this year we had a record-breaking event with over 300 attendees and 35 businesses supporting it.  It's my favorite thing, even more than Girl Scout cookies.

What are some of the most interesting things that have happened to you? 

I would say that traveling to Europe and Asia in my 20's is what brought me great opportunities to learn more about others as well as myself.  When in Milan, I actually stayed at a convent.  I've been deep sea fishing and got caught in a dangerous storm.  As a foreign exchange student in Taiwan, I was in an international talent show (but there were no awards).  I've always loved bridges (and will someday make a collage of the ones I took pictures of in my travels); I like the symbolism of bridges connecting people to new adventures.


What are your three favorite songs?

I'd say the most meaningful to me are Tony Terry's "When I'm with You," Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's "Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a wonderful World," and Whitney Houston's "I will always Love You."


Other than scouts, do you give back to the community?

I also volunteer as a family faith teacher at our church, where we participate in many donation drives for organizations in need.  At our childrens' schools, you can find me working on fundraising events and volunteering in the classroom.  I'm a parent volunteer photographer/videographer for our three daughters' cheer teams at Oak Ridge High School and with the Oak Ridge Jr. Trojans.  I also helped to get Lake Forest Park built with staffing information tables and a phone bank.  I feel very fortunate to live in our beautiful community, and like to help whenever and however I can to continue to make it such a great place to live.


What hobbies do you enjoy? 

I don't have much time for anything else outside of family activities, but I did try Zumba once at Snap Fitness for a Breast Cancer Fundraiser, and loved it.  Someday you'll see me at a Zumba class again.

Tell us about your family. 

My husband and I have been married for over 15 years, and have three daughters and a son.  So life is super busy, especially this year with focusing on everything from high school to kindergarten.  My husband and I both grew up in Sacramento, and even went to the same elementary school and junior high.  My husband is from San Francisco and my family has lived in and near Sacramento for four generations.

What are you most proud of? 

In terms of volunteering, I'm most proud of being able to make a difference in our community.  I tell my children that when I worked at The Sacramento Bee that I knew everyone from the janitor to the president, and they knew me.  So reaching out to different people from different backgrounds is important to live life to its fullest.  My favorite Girl Scout badge is "Make the World a Better Place," and I strive to do that with everything I do.

What causes are you passionate about? 

I am drawn to anything with children.  I have a special place in my heart for Shriner's Hospital since my mother was a Shriner's patient, and they changed her life with an operation that helped her to walk.

What is one thing about you people might be surprised to learn? 

People are surprised to learn that I sung in the gospel choir at UC Santa Barbara.  It just goes to show you that you can't judge a book by its cover.