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Valued Voices
Exciting Choices

Erin Clayton '21

Villanova University

“Norfolk Academy has instilled in me great pride in my work. I strive to have everything I accomplish be done to the best of my ability and in the most honorable way and know I will carry this value with me forever.”  

Global Health Fellow, Winter Musical, Happy Club, Special Olympics, Livestrong 

Three Words to Describe the Class of 2021: Resilient, Hopeful, Focused 

What are you most looking forward to in college?
Meeting new friends and embracing new traditions.

Most Meaningful Activity  
I have been a member of the Happy Club since eighth grade and am so grateful for my connection to Operation Smile that originated with the relationship between the organization and NA. I love supporting their mission and the opportunities I have had in service at school, their Virginia Beach headquarters, and other opportunities I have been part of. The legacy of the Happy Club is important to me and I hope I have been able to be a part of our focus on supporting such an important cause. 
A Favorite Memory 
I think Field Day is a truly special event at Norfolk Academy and one that I have enjoyed since first grade. I love how it is a full day when students of all ages can come together and have fun while supporting our school. It always brings back such great memories from enjoying the day in Lower School to now. 

Inspirational Teacher-Coach  
Mrs. Hall was my English teacher in seventh grade when we were beginning to read the challenging texts of William Shakespeare and John Steinbeck. She has since been my director in the Global Health Fellows program for the past four years and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity I have had to observe her passion for helping others and commitment to service. She inspires me to do everything I can to continue to make a difference in the world. 

Making Her Mark 
This year, the other senior Global Health Fellows and I have been working on a Mental Health survey for all Tunstall students to understand the challenges students are facing. We administered the survey in February and are analyzing the data. I hope it will impact the way our school provides care for students’ wellbeing. 

A Quick Word About Erin  
“Unloading the dishwasher without being asked, holding the door for a peer at school, handwritten notes of encouragement extended at just the right time, a compassionate smile. Erin understands the additive power of thoughtfulness, and yet her approach is not forced. Giving of herself, doing for those around her, recentering conversation around those most in need - is as natural for Erin as breathing. Her life experiences, family, and environment have cultivated a distinct love of helping others and it is through a thousand selfless acts (large and small) that she impacts all who cross her path. She does all of this with a joyful heart that seems to grow by the hour.” ~ Mrs. Jennifer Scott, Erin’s College Counselor 

The thing that most makes me a Bulldog is… my attitude of embracing opportunities and learning from those around me.