Meet Erika

Meet Erika! At just 17 years old, this young woman from Coats, NC is already making a big impact on her family and friends. Erika lives to make sure that everyone around her is smiling and laughing. She is truly the life of the party!

Erika lives with Down syndrome and works hard every day to overcome the odds put in front of her. Erika’s knee surgeries and low muscle tone have not allowed her to be able to participate in any organized sport, so she found something that she could excel at: DANCE!

Through her own life, Erika strives to be an example of what you can do with a little bit of laughter and a lot of Wolfpack pride, which is why she has been selected to be the Dream Recipient of NC State’s Collegiate Dream Team.

Erika’s ultimate sports dream is to dance with the NC State Dance Team and the NC State Collegiate Dream Team can’t wait to make it happen!

Erika's Dream

Friday kicked off bright and early with a surprise sendoff at Triton High School. Her classmates and friends lined the hallways with signs and cheers to send Erika off on her big weekend! After enjoying her favorite lunch, pepperoni pizza, with the CDT, Erika headed to the Red and White Shop to get all the NC State gear she would need for her big day. She then checked in at the The StateView Hotel, Autograph Collection, where the Dream Team had a basket full of Erika’s favorite things waiting for her! Then it was time to dance. Erika headed to practice with the NC State Dance Team, where they played Twister, learned chants, and Erika practiced the solo she would perform during the next day’s NC State Basketball game! The dance team even took her to try NC State Howling Cow Ice Cream for dessert before dinner! After a four-course-dinner at The Melting Pot – Raleigh, Erika returned to her hotel to rest up before her big day.

On Saturday, Erika enjoyed a spa day and a delicious lunch- a hot dog and fries! The CDT met her at Howling Cow to enjoy some more ice cream and look at the animals before her night in the spotlight. Erika got ready for her dance, and the limo ride with Lifestyle Limousine Company to PNC Arena was pumping with her favorite songs! At the game, Erika sat with the Dance Team and performed cheers to energize the crowd. At halftime, she was the Wolf Pup Announcer of the game and welcomed the basketball team back onto the court after the half. Then, it was her time in the spotlight! Erika was front and center in the routine and even performed her signature move, titled “the Erika”. The NC State Basketball team secured the victory, so Erika stopped by the Belltower to see it lit red for a Wolfpack win!

This was an incredible weekend so we are so grateful to all who played a part, especially the NC State University Collegiate Dream Team. We are so grateful to the NC State Dance Team, Red and White Shop, The Melting Pot Raleigh, and the Stateview Hotel.

We would especially like to thank National Sponsor of the Collegiate Dream Team Program, Volvo Construction Equipment North America.

Dream Snapshots

Dream Reels

Thank you to our National Collegiate Dream Team Sponsor, Volvo Construction Equipment