Nacole Borg just finished her first year as a student at College of Marin, majoring in automobile mechanics. She made the honor role and is delighted to say so. Her life hasn’t been easy, so this particular achievement means a lot to her. Nacole is the cheerful, funny and very friendly woman working with Sean Bracken. He, bless him, took her on and agreed to pay her while she went to school.
But why automechanics? It wasn’t because she just happened to be living in a small apartment in back of the garage. And it really wasn’t because she needed work, having struggled in many ways for a long time. Rather, her interest in cars and how they work began when she was 13 growing up in Yreka with a mom who had many difficulties, including no money to fix their old car’s brakes. So, they got a manual and got it done - something of a formative experience to be sure. Nacole is enthusiastic about the COM program, marveling at the “gorgeous” facilities and teaching. There are eight separate bays (where students can work hands-on, and that’s just for mechanic training). There are programs in auto body repair, as well. Asked what she especially likes about working with Sean, she says, “people.” She is happy to help folks who know little or nothing about what’s up with their cars. She has a ready laugh and such a welcoming personality one might think she’s a sort of combination cheerleader and therapist. She is grateful for her job and especially grateful to be paid while she learns. It’s also a pleasure to dispense with the problem of what to wear. She’s happy to put up her hair in a ubiquitous pony tail and grab her black-shirt-and-pants uniform with no worries about style or makeup or any of that girlie stuff. “I can just be me!”
Nacole left home as a teenager, spent some time in Mexico, found her way back to California: Gualala, Cotati, the Borello ranch, and about 12 years living in the Olema campground. She has two sons, David 18 and Axl 14 who just graduated 8th grade and will go to Tomales High. Axel is also part of the Tomales Bay sailing camp this summer, thanks to a huge scholarship and money directly from our wonderful youth counselors Madeline Hope and Chris Eckert of the Tomales Bay Youth Center.
Having her job, her place in West Marin, and her commitment to her education feels great. About the difficult parts of her life she says, “It’s my past,” and grins.