“The only thing you can do in this life is pursue your passions, celebrate your bloopers and never stop following your fear.”- Grace Helbig
From her first day, Ryleigh Erickson has been a leader across campus. She dedicated two years as vice president of both the class of 2020 and JDA’s National Honor Society chapter. As the co-founder and captain of JDA’s golf team, Ryleigh has proven the power of dedication by encouraging her teammates to practice whenever possible and leading them to multiple team awards. Individually, she has placed first in district and top five of each year’s state competition- 2nd last year. Additionally, as a founding member of the math modeling club and robotics business team Ryleigh has made great strides for women in STEM. Her accomplishments span beyond JDA, verging into the lives she’s touched during nine years at Camp Mystic. This summer she graduated from camper to employee and was awarded with the highest honor of Cup Girl.
Ryleigh is grateful for the service opportunities she’s gained through Junior Catholic Daughters of America, whether she’s volunteering at the Ronald McDonald center, running Easter egg charity fundraisers or aiding the local pregnancy center. At Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Ryleigh has been active as an altar server, retreat planner, CCD aide and teacher; she appreciates witnessing the growth of her community over the years and being able to share her stories with others. Along the way, she’s grown as a leader, a student, and a disciple.
Her advice to the students of Juan Diego Academy is to “keep a close bond with their fellow classmates. Any moment of laughter with the guys and funny lunchtime conversations could switch my mood in an instant.”
“I would like to thank O’Brien. He is and probably always will be my favorite teacher. I honestly never expected to like math, but his way of teaching made me appreciate and grow to love it. I also want to thank him for putting up with all that I put him through and giving the best dad jokes to make a bad day get better. He taught me to be a hard worker and he showed me how much potential I really had. He always believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. So thanks to the greatest math teacher and robotics club leader around.”
Ryleigh has been accepted into Southwestern University, Vassar College, Michigan State University, and the University of Virginia. She will be attending Southwestern and playing on their golf team. Ryleigh plans on double majoring in chemistry and business on the pre-dental path.