Charlotte Catholic High School graduate Nikki Warren has set the standard for making grief meaningful through raising funds and awareness for suicide prevention.
After her brother and fellow Catholic graduate, Gregg Doulé, committed suicide in September 2014, Warren and her family participated in the Charlotte Out of the Darkness Community Walk, which benefitted the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Her brother suffered from depression for years leading up to his suicide and she wanted to honor his memory.
“It was a devastating loss,” Warren said. “There is a stigma toward depression and I wanted to get involved with an organization that raises awareness and supports those impacted by suicide.”
She and her family formed “Team Gregg Doulé” and raised $19,406 – the highest fundraiser in North Carolina and the 17th highest in the nation. Nikki also donated funds to the H.U.G.S. support group, which helps people who have lost a family member or friend to suicide.
Warren also was named Smarty Mom of the Year in 2015 by Charlotte Smarty Pants for her work with suicide prevention.
Warren has been a teacher at St. Gabriel Catholic School for 21 years. She has been a third grade teacher for seven years, and prior to that taught P.E. and first grade for seven years each. She and her husband, Graham, have three children in the MACS (Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools).
Her husband and two of her three children have hearing impairment. Nikki has worked as an advocate on their behalf to get them the resources and hearing aids they need.
“I love Catholic education so much … after my years at CCHS, I could not imagine teaching anywhere else,” she said. “I want to give back to the school that gave me a sense of family, community, faith, and Catholic values. I wanted my children to also experience that.”
Warren also serves as the CCHS Alumni Association Treasurer.
“I love the CCCHS community and I want to make it a better place,” she said. “Being part of this amazing Catholic community has strengthened my faith as an adult. Teaching the faith daily and giving back by serving in the Alumni Association are just two ways that make my personal faith stronger. If I didn’t have my faith and this community to fall back on, I would have not been able to get through the loss and tragedy of my brother’s death.”