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Nicole Paprocki

Medical Student, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine | Program Director, Scholars de Salud

"I envision a Chicago that makes health accessible to all of its residents, and this means addressing the social determinants of health as well: education, income, food security, and physical safety."


Undergraduate Degree: Loyola University Chicago, '11

Fun fact: As a young girl, Nicole wanted to be a ballerina, but she never took a dance class; however, she still loves to break it down on the dance floor, in the bathroom mirror, or while folding laundry.

Nicole Paprocki, a proud Chicago Scholar alumna, earned her B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago before joining Teach For America in 2011. As a 9th grade science teacher and Science Department Co-Leader at Instituto Health Science Career Academy, Nicole led her hardworking and ambitious students to grow greater than twice the CPS average annually in Science. 

When Nicole started medical school after four years of teaching, she continued to think about the potential of her students to become the next generation of scientists and health professionals. She was awarded the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship for Humanitarianism in Medicine and founded the Scholars de Salud Program, a pipeline program for high school students from underrepresented backgrounds interested in health careers in the Pilsen community. In its second year, the program has 28 students who meet 10 hours monthly to network with health professionals, learn clinical skills, and receive mentorship from medical students. Nicole’s program has been featured in American Medical Association and American Osteopathic Association publications. 

Nicole is passionate about issues in health, education, and gender equity. She was the 2009 Americans for UNFPA Student for the Health and Dignity of Women and blogged for Marie Claire Magazine online. She has been a Chicago Scholars mentor and a founding member of the Chicago Scholars Associate Board. 

As a National Health Service Corps Scholar, Nicole plans on pursuing residency in Family Medicine and providing high quality primary care to Chicago’s underserved communities.