As a Puksta Scholar, Ericca McCutcheon received financial aid to attend DU. To maintain funding, she was asked to give back to the community. She greeted that request with unchecked enthusiasm. Her efforts culminated in her senior year when she established a partnership between a new charter school called GALS (Girls Athletic Leadership School) and a curriculum-building nonprofit called SmartGirls. She then recruited sorority women from across campus to serve as mentors to the GALS students. Thanks to a grant from SmartGirls, the initiative will continue after McCutcheon’s departure from DU.
McCutcheon is headed to Notre Dame University, where she plans to pursue a master’s degree in education. She hopes to work in the classroom for several years and then attend law school, where she expects to hone policy skills. “My vision is to affect education policy,” she said. “Whatever way I can be the best advocate for children and for teachers, that’s where I’ll be.”