The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Melissa Erickson as the 32nd Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game against the New Jersey Devils. Erickson, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the United Way.
Erickson has always valued family and education, making it her mission to establish parents as an important leg in a child's education. Because of this drive, Erickson founded the Alliance for Public Schools Foundation to give a voice to parents on matters concerning Florida's educational system and landscape. Recently, Erickson has attempted to strengthen the student voice in similar situations through a student branch of the Alliance for Public Schools.
Erickson has held many important educational leadership positions, including former president of the Hillsborough County Public Schools Parent Teacher Association as well as the only parent in the country on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness. She has been recognized many times for her leadership in youth education, including receiving the Champion of Change from the White House in 2010.