Erica Leibowitz, a current senior at the University of Delaware (UD) and graduate of Jericho High School is making a difference in the local community. She currently works at the Center for Developmental Disabilities at the children’s day program where she assists teachers in educating children with moderate to severe developmental disabilities.
One of the children she was working with over the summer, Walter, was really inspired and looked up to her as a role model. He looked forward to seeing her and going through the school day with her at his side.
When Erica was absent from work, he made her a card saying how much he missed her and couldn’t wait for her to return to work.
The card proved that Erica had touched his heart and that she was wanted in Walter’s presence at school. Just as much as Walter and the other children have been inspired and touched by her, she has been motivated to pursue a career influencing the lives of children by studying to be an occupational therapist. Erica says that she will never forget the bond that was created between Walter and herself and that it will continue to inspire her throughout her career.
In addition, Erica volunteers an hour per week with a client, Collette, who suffers with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She helps her organize paperwork, get her mail, do her payroll and clean her house.
To help people like Collette who have MS and other clients with chronic diseases, Erica implemented a writing therapy program to relieve daily stress.
The writing therapy sessions that Erica implemented will be continued in the “Loris Hands” club at UD for upcoming semesters and will continue to help and influence people who have chronic diseases in the future.