ST. PETERSBURG –Ericka Still has a belief that nothing good comes easy in life. If you want something bad enough then you will go out and get it. Her personal motto: The change that you want to see in the world all begins with you, so go for it. She encourages everyone to invest themselves into the people that did the same for them and to not be afraid to give back.
Ericka is positioning herself to do quite a lot of giving back. A recent graduate of The Boca Ciega High School in the Center for Wellness and Medical Professions Program, she finished with a 4.0 weighted grade point average.
Erica is a dreamer and hard worker. She just finished high school and already has her sight set on a doctorate degree in physical therapy. Adhering to the voice of her teachers, family and coaches, she took on the attitude that school comes first and anything that you do outside of that is second. She was reminded to enjoy what she does and when it gets hard, stick with it.
“Ericka has grown into a remarkable young lady. She shows compassion and kindness in all she does,” stated school counselor Nancy Stevens. “She is always considerate of others. She is engaged in both school and community activities that allow her to make a positive impact in the lives of others.”
At Boca Ciega, Ericka made a tremendous impact. She was the First Battalion Commander responsible for about 300 cadets in the Army JROTC program. She ran varsity track and field and was on the cheerleading team where she was selected to the Pinellas South County All-star Cheerleading Team.
In the community, she was a part of the AKAdemy Exquisite Gems program, Expressions of Praise (Southside Tabernacle Baptist Church Dance Ministry), mentor/volunteer at Bear Creek Elementary and a member of the Kali Kali Dance Company.
“Ericka’s personality is contagious. She is a self-starter who is always organized and focused. Her high energy and spirit is infectious and makes her a natural leader both inside and outside of the classroom,” said mentor Yolanda McGill-Fintak.
In addition to her strong academics, athletic prowess and community involvement, Ericka is a terrific dancer. One of her great dance moments took place when she traveled with a group to dance with Debbie Allen at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles where she also met Denzel Washington, Phylicia Rashad and Stevie Wonder!
With her many involvements, juggling her schedule was challenging.
“One of my biggest challenges was balancing school with other extracurricular and community activities that I’m involved in while also maintaining good health and wellness with injuries,” said Ericka.
Overcoming and managing those challenges meant staying up late and waking up early in the morning to finish homework. She took homework to practices and talked to her teachers and coaches to make sure they were all on the same page.
“I also had to listen to my body and tell myself when to slow down,” she said. “Keeping me organized with practice schedules and assignments was tough.”
Ericka will attend Florida A&M University and major in pre-physical therapy. While in college, she aims to join the FAMU Connection, run for Miss Freshman and get involved with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Ten years from now, look for this dynamic personality to be the physical therapist helping kids become more comfortable and successful in their school work and athletics.