Ericka’s Story | Family Resources
If you read our last youth spotlight about Demetrees you know the determination of our youth and the importance of The Villages’ family resources for their success. Ericka is no different. She is one of the many Villages’ youth who are constantly “charging our batteries” because she is so determined and so resilient.
Despite a painful, abusive childhood, Ericka will settle for nothing less than a college degree. As a high school graduate and full time college student, Ericka is now working towards entry in the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. She works nearly 20 hours per week, keeps up with her college classes, and cares independently for herself.
However, Ericka chose to add yet one more important challenge to her already busy life. When Ericka turned 21 years old in the late summer of 2012 she told her Villages social worker that she wanted to become the legal guardian of her younger brother.
At 18 years old he was going to be discharged from a residential facility for developmentally disabled youth and Ericka wanted to be the family home where he would transition. She was willing to do this, despite the fact that she was a part of The Villages Transitional Living Program herself and was extremely overloaded with her own responsibilities.
Family resources available through The Villages’ has helped Ericka realize her desire to care for, protect and teach her younger brother. By buying a bed, additional groceries, and much-needed household and personal care items, Ericka was able to prepare her home (and her heart) to care for the brother that idolizes her.
Although her brother is not presently in her care full time, she is his primary family contact. She frequently cares for him on the weekends and takes him to special community outings and activities. Though every day is not a smooth one, Ericka is determined to be there for her brother, just as The Villages has always been there for her.
This fundraising event is unique because it features a variety of chairs decorated by local artists. In addition to the one-of-a-kind chairs there are other items, such as a backstage private tour at Clowes Hall, tickets for an adventure to West Baden/French Lick or two club seat tickets to a Colts game in the 2014 season. The silent auction ends on November 7th at 9:00pm and bidding resumes at the event on November 8th at 6:00pm. Purchase your tickets here so we can continue to offer family resources to individuals like Ericka and her brother.