Fulfilling Her Purpose Through Public Service

By Katelyn Smith, ABPP Communications

Nicole Lewis’ Workstation in the Board Hearing Room

Montgomery, Ala. — Nicole Lewis believes God destined her for a position to serve those in her community. As the Board Secretary to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, she is able to fulfill this calling. In fact, all her past work experiences seem to have built up to this position. “The transition to Board Secretary was a breeze,” said Lewis. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with, and I thank God for that.”

She balances a multitude of responsibilities, including taking down the minutes of all the Board meetings, spreading the information to appropriate parties, communicating with the Secretary of State’s office, and managing the Board’s correspondences. The pardon and parole hearings take up a considerable amount of Lewis’s time. In reaction, she has become a master at prioritizing her work, staying organized and keeping a calendar. Still, it is not her organizational skills that make Lewis so special, it is her beautiful character.

Compassion, patience and understanding are three qualities coming from her heart. Of course, these qualities don’t just come to a person instantly. Lewis gained each through experiences working in the Public Information Unit. She would take calls from the public, typically from the families of inmates. Those conversations were not always pleasant, but Lewis did not let that get to her. Listening to the families and letting them vent their frustrations allowed her to be compassionate. Everything clicked into place when she realized their anger wasn’t personal to her. Lewis was then able to speak with the intention to guide and heal.

“I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason,” Lewis said. “I try to tell the callers to look at the situation and try to figure out why this happened or what they can do in the meantime. It’s all about opportunity. There’s always an opportunity there if you look for it.”

Parole hearings can last all day and listening to them can wear down a person. Sometimes the stories hit sensitive areas in Lewis’s life, but despite that she never loses focus. At the end of the day, Lewis draws strength from her personal faith which helps maintain her mental and emotional health. She makes it a priority to give herself time to recuperate. Lewis credits prayer and scripture for how she is able to come home happy to her family at the end of the day. 

Listening to even one conversation with Lewis, it is clear her faith plays an important part of her life. The work ethic and character exhibited by her is admirable, but she remains humble. Instead of boasting of her skills, she speaks fondly of her belief in her relationship with God. From Lewis’s perspective, her trust in God has led her to a career position that cares about her, and it is here she can impact the lives of other’s exactly how she is supposed to.