Congratulations to Eryn–SPAN’s Volunteer of the Month! Eryn has been volunteering as a DART victim advocate since October 2012 and has been an excellent team leader since fall 2013. Recently, one of the staff positions on the legal advocacy team opened up and Eryn generously offered to help out by doing anything she could, including extra DART shifts and administrative support. Wow! We’re so lucky to have Eryn as an integral part of our volunteer team.
Veronica Horn, SPAN’s Legal Advocacy Director caught up with Eryn to congratulate her on being the Volunteer of the Month and interview her.
With your busy schedule and all of the wonderful things you do, what made you decide to volunteer as a Victim Advocate for SPAN? I do stay busy as a full time student at Naropa, in Contemplative Psychology, working on my Yoga Teacher Training Certification, other work at the University, and Athleta. However, it was SPAN that ignited my passion of exploring self-evolution and healing from oppression. I feel honored with every opportunity to help a survivor of domestic violence. I love being witness to someone discovering the path of independence. It is never easy to wake-up in the middle of the night to take a call from someone in trouble, but I am continually amazed by the survivor’s capacity to receive support and find personal empowerment.
What has been your best or most rewarding experience since becoming a volunteer for SPAN? My most rewarding experience was just last night. A woman found liberation from an abusive partner by connecting to her own inner-strength. She described to me that she wanted and deserved more. She felt supported by the Safehouse and friends to leave the relationship that once defined her. I appreciated her strong spirit and will-power.
What were you like as a kid? I was an unusual child. I loved being girly and fashionable, but liked toy trucks and playing in the mud too. I was raised in a minority family that created a thriving landscaping and nursery business in Ohio. I spent most of my childhood dressed-to-impress, wandering the woods, collecting arrowheads, insects, and playing with frogs. When old enough to reach the pedals on the golf carts, I would take the nursery frogs on joy rides.
What do you want to be when you grow-up? While I am forever young at heart, I hope to continue growing into more of who I already am. Impassioned, vibrant, and full of heart for my community, basic human rights, and putting an end to human suffering. I plan to do this by sharing with the world what I am learning at NaropaUniversity and through my own life experience. I connect deeply to the ancient teachings of Tantra Yoga and would like to start my own nutrition, and Yoga Therapy practice. Additionally, I would like to get more involved in solving social injustices, and possibly get additional education in International Law. It is my dream to end-up in Indonesia, and start a nonprofit that helps people escape human trafficking.
Eryn has taken on double shifts when needed, frequently receives positive feedback from the clients she supports and advocates for, handles challenging cases with poise and compassion, and is just plain cool!