3 years in Foster Care
24 years old
Erial Pierr is currently working on a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, and intends to continue school to earn a Ph.D. on track to becoming a college professor. She is passionate about the field of anthropology and understanding the effects poverty has on our society, and wants to share that passion with her students in the future. As a woman of color and mother of a young daughter, Erial hopes to be able to use her own experiences to connect with her future students and enrich their lives. She knows the value for black and brown students to be taught by teachers who look like them and can relate to their personal experiences, and Erial plans to advocate for parents who don’t have access to higher education due to a lack of affordable childcare, familiar support, and the financial burden of higher education.
In her internship at the Alameda County District Attorney’s office, Erial has gained invaluable hands-on experience and understanding of the ways the criminal justice system disproportionately impacts African-American families. She is dedicated to being an advocate for change, and also volunteers at the Kapor Center, which tackles racial gaps in various industries to create a more equitable job market. Erial took her advocacy work straight to the California governor’s budget meeting, where she helped secure funding for the CAL Access Grant for current and former foster youth.
The importance of advocacy is one of the biggest lessons Erial learned during her time in foster care. Growing up, she witnessed the stigmas and obstacles that Black single mothers face, and became determined to break the cycle so that her own daughter did not experience the same difficulties she did. Erial strongly believes that education is the key to disrupting the cycle of poverty and ending generational trauma. She is proud of the role model she is becoming for her own daughter, and aspires to continue advocating for other students who fight for their education, like Erial has for herself.