Since graduating in 2016, Erica has been leading StudentsCare, the 501c3 nonprofit she started in 2013. StudentsCare’s mission is to brighten the hospital experience for children and their families by matching pediatric patients with college student volunteers who provide fun, friendship, and support throughout extended hospital stays (www.students-care.org).
While in the NPL program, Erica launched 4 student chapters and hospital programs at Michigan State University and Sparrow Hospital; St. Louis University and Ronald McDonald House of St. Louis; University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and one in her hometown of Miami at University of Miami and Holtz Children’s Hospital.
In January 2017, StudentsCare received their first grant from the very prestigious William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, allowing StudentsCare to continue to grow. The grant proposal aims for 6 new programs to be in operation by the end of 2017. The grant also allowed StudentsCare to hire its first full-time staff, with Erica as CEO.
While at Penn, Erica was awarded the SP2 Social Impact Award and was a semifinalist in the Wharton Business Plan Competition Semifinalist, as well as a member of Wharton Entrepreneurship’s Venture Initiation Program. Erica has been featured in Philly.com, USA Today, and on Lifetime TV for her work with StudentsCare.
The NPL program has equipped me with a deep understanding of the nonprofit landscape and the challenges many organizations face today. This knowledge and perspective has been instrumental in developing not only my organization but also myself as a leader. I attribute much of my recent success to the knowledge and community gained from this program.