I was born on October 18, 1992 to Rosa and Eric Fitzpatrick. My mother wanted to name me Samantha, but my aunt talked her out of that name, implying that people would think I was a “Howdy Doody baby”. Not sure what she meant by that, but doesn’t really sound like a positive statement. My mom finally settled on the name Erica. One would think, “How nice. Named after her father.” Well actually I was named after my mother favorite soap opera character at the time. She named me after Susan Lucie’s All My Children character, Erica Kane. You can imagine the devastation in my father’s face once he found that out…about 19 years later of course.
I come from a very mixed background. My mother is a Nuyorican (NY born Puerto Rican) from the Bronx, and my father is African-American coming from the LES (Lower East-side of Manhattan). My father’s family is from down south, with deep Irish roots. Growing up I was raised mostly with my mother’s side of the family, so by age 2 I already knew how to speak both English and Spanish. I know to speak English once my father came home, which at that point my parents knew I was going to exceed when it came to education.
All of my schooling was done in the Bronx, except both of my colleges. I went to high school at, The Bronx Academy of Letters. In 2006 when I became a freshmen, the school had just been open maybe a fresh 2-3 years. I was recommended by my junior high school English teacher to attend this school, because of how well I did when it came to my schoolwork. My new high school was a college-prep school that really lived up to its goal. The minute I stepped foot into the school, I was already being lectured about taking the SAT/ACT's which was 2 years away at the time. Throughout my high school years I was on both the Dean’s List and Honor Rolls many of times, served as a student representative for my advisory, volunteered at various originations, and even took on an AP American History course. After high school, I went on to obtain my Associates degree in Criminal Justice, at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Now, I always knew that I wanted to go to college for Criminal Justice and have a career somewhere in law enforcement. That was my dream since I was 12 years old. Before that was fashion, which proved to not be my calling but still is a slight interest at heart. My parents fully support me in my dreams. At one point my mother who is a licensed social worker (LMSW), wanted to become an NYPD officer back in the days. My father today is a Peace Officer in the Bronx, and very much backs up my love for Criminal Justice. I also have an aunt who is a retired NYPD homicide detective, and also many family members who are/were high ranking officers in many branches of the military.
When I leave John Jay, I will have my Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice, and a certificate in Addiction Studies. In the long run I would like to become a State Trooper in NY and/or eventually work for the federal government. I hope to leave with a better knowledge of the field of work that I have chosen. I walked into this school hearing stories of those who work in many agencies in law enforcement. When I walk out I want to be one of those who tells my story to those new batch of students.