TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Daniel Erickson as the sixth Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Erickson, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Student Alliance for Public Schools.
Tyler Johnson joined Lightning owner Jeff Vinik to present Daniel Erickson with a check for $50,000.
At only 17, Erickson has refused to let the perceptions of someone his age determine the impact that he will have on his community. He has been actively involved at Jefferson High School as a student athlete, securing a 4.0 GPA all while serving as team captain of the Varsity Cross Country Team and distance captain of the Varsity Track Team. Erickson realized that students have valuable insight into issues facing them and their school. However, there was a lack of opportunity for them to share their ideas and solutions. Seeing an opportunity for improvement, he established the Student Alliance for Public Schools to elevate these voices. Erickson’s efforts have already made an impact in changing the dynamic of the issue at hand by helping his peers focus on solutions, identify programs that lead to positive outcome and advocate for implementation county wide.
Erickson has further taken his efforts to impact student education on a national level. He is working with local and national leaders, including United Way Suncoast and America’s Promise Alliance, to host a community Grad Nation Summit this spring. This event will be led by students and is the first of its kind in the history of America’s Promise’s efforts to raise the national high school graduation rate.