Erica Padilla

2022 Corn Mother Honoree


As a child, I received a bilingual education in the Denver Public Schools, then went to Kent Denver, a predominantly white, upper class private school. It was a difficult environment, but it taught me to handle uncomfortable situations and gave me the skills to be successful in college, grad school, and employment.
After attending the University of New Mexico and a community college, I moved to Denver and enrolled at Metro State. I met many lifelong friends (who I now consider family) and my husband.
I loved being at MSU and being in organizations that helped students, like MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán). I worked at the Student Activities office planning culturally relevant events, and the Department of Chicana/o Studies, and was a member of the Journey Through Our Heritage (JTOH) committee. 
I will never forget being pregnant, walking across the stage as a first-generation Chicana student who earned a double major in Chicana/o Studies and Spanish.
Later, I was a teacher’s assistant Lake Middle School, part of my commitment to help others become educated, and earned an M.A. in Ethnic Studies at Colorado State. I used my skills as a mother and academic at Escuela Tlatelolco, a school in Denver founded by Corky Gonzales, leader of the Crusade for Justice. Later, I was a Family-Community Liaison at Edgewater Elementary, facilitating connections between parents and the school.
Wherever I worked, I always served my community. This meant a lot to me and let me work with many teachers, liaisons, and wonderful families.

Erica 'S


“Hablando se entiende la gente.” 

“By talking, we understand other people.”

Erica is on pages 67-70

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