Celebrating the Woman Next Door: Sonja Nicholson

In partnership with AdventHealth for Women, we’re recognizing some of the women in our community who are selflessly giving to others while raising families, supporting their loved ones and building their careers. Whether they know it or not, their stories inspire other women in their shoes.

Originally from Alabama, Sonja Nicholson speaks in a soft southern accent though her nurturing personality and passion for her community command the room. Her heart for philanthropy is apparent with her name connected to investments in education at UCF’s Nicholson School of Communication and in the health of the community at AdventHealth Winter Park’s Nicholson Center. In her nomination, it was said, “I’ve seen firsthand how much she cares for the well-being of the community and gets involved to make an impact. Overall, she is generous, kind, compassionate, warm and inspiring.”

What is your WHY?

Making a difference. I want to make a positive impact on lives I touch, whether large or small. This includes my family, friends, our community and our country. I believe making a difference starts at home. I always feel you get back more than you give, when giving from the heart!

On your toughest of days, what motivates you to put one foot in front of the other?

On tough days, I lean on God, my family and my love for life. All I have to do is to remind myself how blessed I am each and every day to be able to take care of my husband, be there for my family and be a part of my grandchildren’s lives.

Have you drawn inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you?

Yes, over the years my mother, sister, daughters and a few special friends. I learned to raise the bar for my life in every way, which includes loving God, holding family dear to my heart, being adventurous, never giving up on dreams and living life to the fullest.

What is the one word that perfectly explains who you are?

Genuine. Many people have used this word to describe me over the years. I have never lost sight of who I truly am.

Would you change anything about how you have handled challenges or successes thus far in your life?

Yes, with challenges I would be more direct and with successes I would celebrate more.

What are you most proud of?

My wonderful grandchildren and beautiful family. I am blessed!

What is the biggest challenge you have faced and what did you learn from it?

The biggest challenge I have faced was the death of my loved ones and the hardest part was learning to move forward. I learned life is short, to appreciate each day, and to live life to its fullest!


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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