Erin Flathers, a community-minded 17-year-old, is currently enrolled at Lord Fairfax Community College's (LFCC) Fauquier Campus. Erin participates in community service through various 4-H clubs in the area. She also volunteered with Fauquier Hospital last summer, and this summer she hopes to earn her Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification.
Erin was a home-schooled student, as were her siblings. She decided to attend LFCC, because all three of her older siblings had taken classes at the College and appreciated their relationships with their professors and fellow students. "They didn't have the same opportunity for 'one-on-one' [attention] at the larger universities," she said.
Erin is working toward her associate of arts and sciences degree at LFCC. She is interested in science, because she loves the challenges and constant changes that occur in the field. Upon graduating from LFCC, she plans to transfer to a four-year institution. James Madison University and George Mason University are currently her top choices.
LFCC has been a terrific fit for Erin. "I love being able to ask my professors questions and be a face and name to them, not just a test grade," she said. "I also like all the activities happening around the campus. There's always something going on!" Clearly, Erin is thriving, as she received all As last semester, and she has set a goal to continue with this same level of achievement.
In addition to LFCC activities, Erin loves horses and has been working at Grovespring Farm in Culpeper, Va., for two years. At the farm, she helps teach children about riding and leads trail rides. She also measures grain and supplements for the horses, a task that involves great attention to detail and intricacy.
When asked about solving a world problem, Erin mentioned she would like to work toward ending human trafficking. "I would work with law enforcement to tighten border patrol, and I would set up more programs for people who have survived modern-day slavery." Erin would like to earn her bachelor's degree in international relations, criminal justice or forensic science – ambitious educational goals that could certainly lead to work in human rights and advocacy. As she looks to the future, Erin is focused on "where the world is going and the difference I'm going to make in it."
Erin counts her brother, Will, as her hero. "He has excelled above and beyond anything that was ever required of him, and he did it with dignity and humility," she said. "He made the selfless choice to serve his country when he was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force in 2008."
Erin does have a desired "superhero power" that seems to be connected to her brother. "I would fly in a heartbeat," she said. "I'm not sure why, but it's the only 'power' I've ever wanted. Maybe it has something to do with being an 'Air Force sister'!"