Nicole Zenner wrote a victims impact statement to present at her attackers trial. The Brave Files Podcast.

The Shot That Changed My Life

With Featured Guest

Nicole Zenner


Blog divider

Nicole Zenner wrote a victims impact statement to present at her attackers trial. The Brave Files Podcast.

The Shot That Changed My Life

With Featured Guest

Nicole Zenner


Blog divider

Top Takeaways From This Episode

  • As humans, we are called to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.
  • Overcome pain by focusing on gratitude.
  • It’s hard to stay negative when you are surrounded by joy and love.
  • In order to truly make a difference, we need to understand the root causes of gun violence.
  • When you give, you receive what you need in return.

Trust us, Nicole Zenner’s story is a powerful one. As a survivor of gun violence, she fully understands the toll that trauma can take. Now, she plays an active role in her community to combat gun violence and ensure a safer environment for everyone.

A Terrifying Day

The day that forever changed Nicole's life began like any other. During an evening trip to the local store, she noticed a young man running down the middle of the road. He yelled out for help, and Nicole felt called to offer assistance.

To her horror, Nicole found a gun in her face rather than the opportunity to help someone in need. The man fired a single shot just inches from her head. Then he fled the scene. Nicole was left sitting there, frozen in shock. Miraculously, she only suffered minor physical injuries.

Healing Is Never Easy

Thankfully, her physical injuries were not severe. However, Nicole suffered significant mental and emotional turmoil from the ordeal. As can be expected, she was extremely angry. The court process was tiresome and lasted months. Nicole experienced immense hatred when she thought of the man who had almost killed her. This emotion often surprised and frightened her. She soon learned forgiveness is not something that comes easily.

Turning Pain to Passion

Nicole feels she was given a “second chance at life” and she's determined not to squander it. Nicole makes a conscious effort to make the world a better place, every day. She does this both through compassion and activism. She works closely with organizations involved in understanding the root causes of gun violence and fights to make our communities safer.

Through this work, Nicole has developed a deeper understanding of systemic racism. This systemic racism is part of what lead to the violence she experienced. She knows that her energies can either go towards anger and hurt or healing and restorative justice. She constantly chooses the latter.

Nicole Zenner wrote a victims impact statement to present at her attackers trial. The Brave Files Podcast.


Other Resources Mentioned In Nicole’s Interview

Gun Violence Statistics in America

Crime Victims’ Rights

I Grow Chicago (we recently aired an interview with I Grow’s founder, Robbin Carrol. Listen here)

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann

Nicole says these two books when a long way towards helping her heal. The Brave Files Podcast.

Get to know Nicole

Nicole Zenner is filled with joy and love and she graciously shares it with the world. You would never know, seeing her today, the terror she has experienced in her life.

We invite you to learn more about Nicole’s business, Zen Events. Her passion shows through her work as a wedding celebrant and event planner. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

Nicole Zenner attend the March For Our Lives Rally. The Brave Files Podcast.

Giving is Good

Nicole encourages everyone to support Everytown for Gun Safety. The organization works to end gun violence and build safer communities. Everytown for Gun Safety conducts necessary research to better understand the root causes of gun violence. Through this research, communities gain a better understanding of how to come together to reduce violence.


"Let go of the hate and focus on what you're grateful for."

- Nicole Zenner

Meet your Host, <em style="color:teal">Heather Vickery<em>

Meet your Host, Heather Vickery

Heather Vickery is an award-winning business owner and global leader with over 20 years as an entrepreneur. She leverages her entrepreneurial skills and expertise to coach individuals towards greater personal and professional fulfillment by helping them leverage their fear into intentional bravery. Heather says “When we choose bravely, on purpose, we choose bigger, have bigger successes and it’s contagious” A celebrated public speaker, Heather inspires audiences and empowers attendees with the tools they need to live bold and successful lives through creating balance, time management, mindfulness, as well as countless systems, strategies, and boundaries. She’s the author of Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus and Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families. Heather is also the host and executive producer of The Brave Files Podcast.

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