Erin, from the rural town of Prince George, Virginia, is described as "hard working, dedicated and enthusiastic ...a person of extraordinary character who brings a positive attitude to everything she does." Despite commuting more than two hours daily and taking numerous AP courses, she maintained a stellar grade point average at the rigorous Maggie L. Walker Governor's School. Teachers' recommendations tell of her contribution to classes, her sharp mind, her commitment to excellence, and perhaps most impressive, her unique ability to really "listen" despite her bilateral hearing loss.
Her hearing loss was first discovered when she was four, but by then she'd already taught herself to read lips. Although Erin uses a hearing aid and communicates orally, she also knows some American Sign Language. She says that frustration because of "an inability to communicate" made her a creative problem solver to determine the most effective ways to communicate in various settings.
Among her extracurricular activities, she spent a summer in Asia teaching English to high school students there--and has maintained correspondence with those students. In addition, she personally reworked the entire English curriculum used by her peers, helped raise money to fund their trip as well as running evaluation sessions, and took on numerous other responsibilities. Erin has also been active in community service, such as working with a children's choir, because of her passion for working with children.
Erin attended the William and Mary college, with the goal of becoming a teacher "so I can surround myself with what I love." Erin graduated in May 2010, after a stellar college career. Erin finished teaching fourth grade last year in Virginia Beach. During the year, she applied for, and was accepted in the Teach for America program for the next two years. She will be based in Detroit, and will start after her training in Philadelphia..