Nickoy Edwards always knew that he wanted to help people in his community, but it wasn’t until he attended Mott Community College that he decided to join the police force.

“I was working in the college’s office of public safety, where I met a lot of police officers,” says Edwards, an alum of Mott Middle College, TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative. “In our conversations, I found that I could pursue my passion of helping people through a career in law enforcement.”

Fast forward to 2017, and Edwards has been working with the Flint PD for nearly two years as a Community Policing Officer.

Below, the 24-year-old talks about his career, TeenQuest and more.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I create relationships between the community and the police. I patrol the north side of Flint, so I know a lot of people there. I connect them to resources that help them in their individual situations.

How did TeenQuest prepare you for your job with the Flint Police Department?

I took away a lot of skills from the TeenQuest program. They always emphasized interviewing skills and communication. I have always been a very shy person, so I was able to walk away with the ability to walk up to someone and shake their hand.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Helping people in my community.

What’s been your proudest moment so far?

There was a teen who I counseled during my first two years of being a police officer. When I first met him, he was hanging out with the wrong crowd, but I took pride in helping him realize there was something better out there for him. Now he’s going off to college. He is able to go on and do something different with his life. That is my proudest moment.

What advice do you have for teens currently in the TeenQuest program?

TeenQuest is building you up to be a better person. The training you get from the program will help you to succeed as you become an adult.

It’s important for young adults to take pride in themselves and build toward a better future.

TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Ruth Mott Foundation, Hagerman Foundation, and other generous funders.