Ms. Erica

Birthday: September 26th

Hometown: Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Favorite Crayola color: Macaroni and Cheese

Background: From a young age, I have had a nurturing spirit. As a young girl, you could see me carrying around a baby doll wherever I went - bringing it to the table to eat with me and taking him or her for stroller rides around the neighborhood. However, my passion for working with children became apparent to me when I started the Early Childhood Development program in my high school. During this time, I took classes regarding child development and interned at multiple schools working with young children and creating lesson plans for them. At the end of this program, I took a test to earn The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, which is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education. Once I became an FSU student, I used this credential to assistant teach at the FSU preschool - where I worked with ages 3-5 in a classroom setting. While I loved that job and grew quickly attached to the children I saw almost every day, I decided I didn't want to be a teacher. Instead, I believed I would enjoy being in a therapy setting and while I continued to babysit for local families, including for one child with Autism Spectrum Disorder and another with Celiac Disease, I completed two internships experiences at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital (TMH) in their Pediatric Outpatient Rehabilitation Center working with children receiving physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy for their specific needs. It was during this time that my interest in speech therapy became apparent. After graduating with two bachelor’s degrees, one in Family and Child Sciences and another in Communication Science and Disorders, I am happy to report that I will be attending Florida State University in the Fall 2019 to receive a master's degree in speech pathology. Go Noles! I am excited for this opportunity as it allows me to stay in Tallahassee where I can continue to meet and help families!

I've cared for children as young as: 1 year old

Future plans: I plan to graduate with my Master's Degree in Speech Pathology and plan to apply for jobs locally and abroad. I hope one day to open a private practice and my current specific passion lies with children who are born with hearing loss. I would love to work with children post cochlear implant surgery to help them get the best language outcomes!

When she's not babysitting: I compete in Olympic-style Weightlifting and have a passion for health and fitness. I love being active and being outdoors!

Defining quotation: "Play is the work of childhood." - Jean Piaget