Meet Erica

Over the past nine years, Erica has inspired us with her resounding wellspring of creativity and resilience. At her home at Jacob’s Ladder, she’s transformed into an empowered woman who lives with a deep sense of purpose and strength.

Jacob’s Ladder caregivers recall that when she first came to Mustard Seed Communities, Erica was very shy and reserved. She had a difficult time with her conditions of epilepsy and hypertension, and frequently opted to stay in her cottage by herself to sleep or watch movies. 

This didn’t last long. Soon, Erica blossomed.

Surrounded by encouraging peers, other adults with disabilities, Erica empowered herself to become an active and enthusiastic member of the Jacob’s Ladder community whose influence surrounds the world. By writing poetry, making jewelry, singing, and crafting other artistic pursuits, 38-year-old Erica is reaching her full potential at MSC.

Erica’s talents in the arts drive her to create pieces that are beautiful and authentically hers. She uses beads to make earrings and bracelets; fills multiple notebooks with original poems about her life at Mustard Seed; sings with her fellow residents; sews and crochets; and creates sketches that are inspired by nature.

Drawing from this enduring sense of creativity, Erica runs her own shop from her cottage at Jacob’s Ladder. There, her handmade jewelry is for sale as well as a selection of snacks and drinks. 

Erica’s bracelets, beaded and sometimes customized with names or with “faith,” “hope,” or “love,” are worn around the world. On the left, in Jamaica, and on the right in Boston. Center: Erica reads her poetry.

Her store not only shares the wonderful crafts she makes, but also takes her out of her shell to engage with peers. Members of the Jacob’s Ladder family as well as mission volunteers visiting from all around the globe purchase her items. 

“I always hold onto the bracelet that Erica gave to me, and I smile whenever I think of her contagious joy. When we walked into Erica’s room, she was playing music, singing, smiling, laughing, and displaying her handmade jewelry,” said Sophia Luongo, a mission volunteer from the Nicpon Family team. “Erica encouraged me to always remember to smile, enjoy the sound of music, and share my gifts with others. I am confident that Erica’s joy will impact people around the world!”

Our community at MSC is blessed to bear witness to Erica’s greatness. “[My time so far at Jacob’s Ladder] has been a great journey. These opportunities that I get at Mustard Seed – I wouldn’t get them at other institutions. I get to be independent and earn something on my own! It’s a great experience,” said Erica. We are so proud of her!