MEET THE FREEDOM SCHOOL TEAM: Erin "Rox" Cruz

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Meet Rox C.

Momma//Wife//Site Coordinator

Full Name

Erin "Rox" Cruz (Yates)

Rap Name

Foolish Professional

City of Birth

Lynchburg, VA

Favorite Food to Cook

Low Country Boil with crab legs

Least Favorite Snack

I have a fear of Hot Cheetos.

The Last Song That Made You Cry

Boy by Lee Brice gets me every. single. freaking. time.

What Were You Like in Middle School?

I was SUPER confident in middle school. I've always had a funkier style and middle school was a period when I really got to experiment with what I wanted to look like without all the judgement and conformity that comes with high school. I went to Dunbar and loved cheerleading, drama, show choir, rec softball. I did whatever I had time for. I know a lot of people would love to be back in high school, but middle school really was my favorite. I wouldn't go back to high school if you paid me.

Name of a Book/Story That Made An Impact On You When You Were Younger

I hated my freckles when I was younger, kids always asked me if I had chicken pox. I made it very clear to everyone how much I loathed those freckles. Sometime in elementary school an adult suggested I read Freckle Juice by Judy Blume. The story is about a little boy who wants freckles more than anything! What's funny was it was the first book I felt like I ever related to, but just as much as the main character wanted freckles, I would have done anything to get rid of mine. It made me realize at a very young age that you don't have to go through the EXACT same experiences in order to understand the same feeling and emotion that someone has been through. 

Freedom Is…

…safety to be yourself. The grace, acceptance, understanding, and space from others to be who you are (flaws and all) and still be fully loved. 

What Excites You About Our Freedom School Program?

I'm excited about Freedom Schools because I think we have so many kids who are bombarded by social media expectations that they don't realize how perfect they already are. They have so much worth, passion, and talent to offer but they don't see it because they're constantly comparing themselves to other people online. I want to help bring that out, I want them to leave this summer being super confident in who they are and knowing they have a team of supporters all year long, not just at Freedom Schools. 

If you had a room full of people willing to listen to you, what would you say?

Don't get caught up in comparison. You either think you're better than someone and you treat them differently whether you realize it or not, or you think someone else is better than you and it leads to jealousy, discontent, bitterness, etc. STOP IT with the comparison game. You are exactly who the world needs you to be. Yes, we can all learn and grow, but our goal shouldn't ever be to emulate someone else. Let them be them, encourage them in that. You do you to your greatest potential, and don't make apologies for that.