Chairwoman, Founder & CEO
When WorkBoots founder Tijuana Nichols began working with schools on the Southside of Chicago, she noticed a significant difference regarding the number of resources allocated to young students in these areas. As a lifelong southside Chicagoan, public school student and child of parents that survived addictions, she is not a stranger to the challenges that lack can present.
While working as a Facilities Manager in some of the very schools she attended she saw an opportunity to marry her knowledge of the trades to her passion to usher children into the future and into the introduction of their future selves. When speaking about the youth of Chicago she sums it up in a few words "They are dying with the best of them, still in them". " They have not had a chance to know themselves as parents, grandparents, teachers, doctors, Presidents etc, and we gotta change that".
We are dedicated to creating better futures. In order to do that we have a responsibility, and a duty to make sure our youth are physically present in their futures and thriving.
Not dead, not in jail, but present in their futures.
Sr, Board Member
Steve Nichols serves alongside his sister as a Senior Board Member of WorkBoots. As a young man born and raised on the Southside of Chicago he is personally familiar and aware of snares and tempting cultures that are fostered and cultivated in communities that lack resources, opportunities, basic economic structures and positive influence.
In his teen-aged years Steve found himself at a fork in the road having to make life changing decisions, or find himself immersed in criminal activity and street gang culture. He has first hand insight when it comes to going against the grain and choosing what is best, versus what is popular. Steve's life's experiences is why he is a valuable resource to WorkBoots and the African Americans male youth we serve.
Steve successfully navigated from the street and began his career in the transportation industry as a train engineer for Chicago Transit Authority. When opportunity knocked he transitioned to Texas where currently heads a portion of Dallas Texas Transportations as a Operations Rail Controller for Dallas Rapid Transit (DART). In addition to his professional career he owns and operates AJ&N Trucking LLC.
When approached about the idea of WorkBoots he simply said "let's do it, cause it's doable, if I can do it, anybody can...if they want to."
Workboots knows that to be successful we also have to address and meet immediate needs. Our program participants live in a food desert that is why we have included a feeding program we call "Acts of Love".
Our participants will receive food packages each weekend to take home to their families. To help participants we understand that they have a personal responsibility to the communities in which they live.
Participants are required to participate alongside their mentor volunteer On July 31st, 2021 in a community-based food distribution activity hosted by Workboots and sponsored by local food distributors, providing food packages to community members in need.
Developing and shaping our children’s futures through the introduction of trade knowledge early in life is the main aspect of what we do. We feel early exposure will help to boost confidence and prepare African American youth for a positive and successful career in the trade of their choice.
Workboots works with local public schools, outreach organizations, and churches. We are fostering relationships to bridge our services with other not-for-profit and social needs groups.
It is our belief that children need to be in a well-rounded and supportive environment to thrive. At Workboots we strive to be one of many viable resources for our participants.