How was it birthed and developed? Erin spent years "creating space" and helping people of all ages discover their "Heart of Leadership" through organic connections, speaking engagements, one-on-one sessions, classes, and self-awareness sessions. In 2020, Erin was invited to speak to a local high school's Leadership group for the day and was invited back for several other classes that year and then the next school year. Erin realized that the course was impacting the students and teachers, which led her to develop the experience called The Heart of Leadership Experience. Since then, many have sought her out to share her expertise and method.
Why Erin? She has an incredible gift of storytelling and connecting with others of all ages. She shares her story in a way that draws people closer rather than apart. She has a unique teaching style that resonates with all who experience it. Erin has years of life experience, training, and facilitating conversations through empathy, strategy, and storytelling. She’s worked with various families in different capacities, for example, as a visitation supervisor by mediating family structures and as a life coach at an alternative education facility and a juvenile detention center. Erin is a trained Behavior Room Coach dealing with severe behavioral, social, unique, cognitive, and impaired needs. Erin currently shares her teachings as a community engagement ambassador by facilitating workshops, guest speaking, panels, and conversations across the nation. She recently won the MLK Drum Major award based on her work in the community.
Book an online consultation to discuss bringing Erin to your organization or school for THL Experience.
Over the course of the last few months, my Student Leadership 2 class at Dow High has had the pleasure of welcoming Erin as a guest speaker. We “met” Erin last year when she was the guest speaker during a Midland County planning conference for Kindness Week. The group of students who attended the conference with me knew right away that Erin was someone that we wanted to work with and learn more from. We reached out to her, and she became an invaluable resource to our class during the time in which we had to switch to virtual learning due to Covid. As a class used to being out in the school and community actively working on projects, the switch to virtual learning was not an easy adjustment. Erin’s visits to our virtual classroom gave us all something to look forward to during the difficult months of being online. She also began to instill important aspects of being a leader in both myself and my students. When we returned to a more normal school environment in the Fall of 2021, I knew that I wanted to give my Leadership students the opportunity to learn more from Erin. Erin shared with me that she was looking to create a leadership course for students and hoped that we would be able to test run her ideas in my class.
Starting in early 2022, Student Leadership 2 began their journey as the first cohort of The Breaking Bread Village Heart of Leadership course. During her weekly visits, Erin pushed my students to genuinely think about themselves as leaders and what drives them toward that path, in addition to how empathy and compassion are key components in being successful, inclusive leaders. She did this through a variety of methods that involved students to spend time thinking deeply about themselves and what shapes them, but also through fun activities that required them to think creatively and work together efficiently. She taught them not only how to lead others but how to also show up for themselves in the best way possible. In many ways, students were pushed outside of their comfort zones when thinking about themselves and through some of the group activities she asked them to do. However, this helped many of them grow as leaders by becoming more confident in themselves within our own small group. I know that Erin’s visits have positively impacted my students already, as demonstrated by their work. In their weekly reflections, many of them reference ideas that she has discussed, and a student who applied for an important leadership position at the state level was also influenced by what they’ve learned from Erin and used insight from her in their application interview.
My students were not the only ones positively impacted by the time that Erin has spent with us. While completing many of the activities alongside my students, I know that I have also grown and become more conscious in the way that I lead the Student Leadership 2 class. Erin’s lessons have helped me better understand what does and does not work in achieving success in a program like we have at Dow High. She also pushed me out of my own comfort zone, at times, which I feel helped establish a stronger connection with students in my class. Finally, I’m also inspired by the leader that Erin is in our community. Having spent time with her just talking or observing her lessons, I know that anyone who might be able to have the same experience would benefit greatly. Overall, I sincerely express my gratitude for Erin volunteering her time with my students and, without a doubt, recommend that any other leadership program that has the opportunity to learn from her does the same. Erin’s work with my class has impacted myself and my students in the present, but I know that benefits will also be apparent for many years to come. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions.
Sincerely, Chelsea Berg