May Nichols, a survivor of colon cancer, promised herself that upon becoming cancer-free, she would change the focus of her life to giving back to the community through volunteerism and advocacy. Since retiring from the position of Post Master of Half Moon Bay after 28 years of service with the United States Postal Service, she has dedicated herself to improving the quality of life for San Mateo County’s seniors and people with disabilities. As a Services Coordinator with HIP Housing at Edgewater Isle Senior Housing, May provides educational and recreational activities, as well as case management, for the senior residents. Many do not have friends or family in the area or outside resources to help meet their needs, so May’s activities, which focus are crucial. In 2006, when several Edgewater residents passed away, May saw the need for a Grief Counselor. When she couldn’t find a volunteer, she went back to school to become a certified Grief Counselor. A few years earlier, in 2002, she enrolled in Notre Dame de Namur
University at the age of 69 to earn her Masters Degree in Clinical Gerontology. May has been actively involved with San Mateo County’s Commission on Aging since 1999 and was instrumental in compiling and publishing the Help at Home Directory for seniors. As a Senior Advocate for the California Leaders Alliance, she met with members of the state legislature in Sacramento to gather support for the Elder Economic Dignity Act. This bill, which passed in 2010, gives a more accurate means of showing senior demographics and increases federal appropriations to programs for the elderly. When May sees a need, she takes it upon herself to fill it. Her unwavering dedication and can-do attitude has made San Mateo County a significantly better place for seniors to live.