Erin Coggins

UNC Charlotte

Erin Coggins, a Levine Scholar and sophomore at UNC Charlotte, has always found ways to give back to others in her community. But a summer internship with a local nonprofit organization dedicated to combating the sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking of teen girls in the Charlotte area has helped Ms. Coggins find her voice as an advocate. During the past year, she has worked to increase awareness in the Charlotte community about the extent and pervasiveness of abuse and trafficking in the city, and is exploring the multitude of ways that citizens can help end the devastation of its occurrence. Erin has studied the policies, practices, and impact of sexual exploitation in South Africa and intends to broaden her understanding of this worldwide calamity. As a social work and communication major she is exploring the issues from multiple perspectives to equip herself to make a difference at the community and individual level. It is clear that Ms. Coggins will continue to speak for those who have no voice, and educate members of the broader community in the ways they can seek solutions to end the exploitation of young women and girls.

Dr. Philip L. Dubois
Chancellor
UNC Charlotte

Personal Statement

Service and civic engagement have always been an integral part of my identity. My heart breaks for the hurting and the oppressed, and I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to explore my passions and study how to truly promote social change through my undergraduate career. I have found my voice in advocating for the silenced victims of sex trafficking in Charlotte, North Carolina. Connecting the skills I've acquired from working with a local, faith-based nonprofit to my academic coursework in Social Work and Communication Studies has taught me how to look at the interdisciplinary manifestation of the root issue of cultural devaluation of women. In addition, studying the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and healthcare system of South Africa on victims of abuse, financially vulnerable teen girls, and female sex workers has given me a more comprehensive perspective on a global issue. I have been involved in presenting heartbreaking statistics, training volunteers, building community partnerships, and organizing fundraisers to bring awareness to the seemingly invisible issue of trafficking. I am thrilled to champion this cause and determined to live a life that serves and empowers others to create sustainable change in their communities.

Erin Coggins
BA Social Work/Communication Studies: Class of 2018
written 2016

2016 Fellows Alphabetical by Institution

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Karmen Kurtz, UNC Asheville Erin Coggins, UNC Charlotte Juan Emilio García Estrada, Universidad de Monterrey Sonce Reese, University of Baltimore Lillian McEntire, University of Central Arkansas Katie Richard, University of Central Oklahoma Joshua Higginbotham, University of Charleston Elizabeth Charash, University of Connecticut Kayla J. McLaughlin, University of Dayton Ciera Kathryn Blehm, University of Denver Andy Garcia, University of Florida Brittany Shipman, University of Great Falls Rima Nimri, University of Illinois at Chicago Maribel Hernandez, University of La Verne Benjamin Webster, University of Maryland Eastern Shore Rachael Parran, University of Maryland, Baltimore Max Poole, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Joel Colon, University of Massachusetts Boston Chris LaPorte, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Alexis Musick, University of Miami Hawa Ali, University of Minnesota Rochester Daniel Mueller, University of Missouri - St. Louis Mackenzie Lombardi, University of Montana Katelyn Gonczy, University of Mount Union Antonio Campbell, University of Nebraska Omaha Zachary Bolster, University of New Hampshire Michael Elliott, University of New Hampshire - Manchester John Blessing, University of North Georgia Shelby Yates, University of Northern Iowa Caitlin Hodges, University of Notre Dame Jeffrey Wiseman, University of Pennsylvania Ian Kanterman, University of Rhode Island Jennifer Paradis, University of Saint Joseph Jessica Villa, University of San Francisco Theresa M. Lacey, University of South Carolina Beaufort Cindy Kuo, University of Utah Mirella Espino, University of Wisconsin Colleges-University of Wisconsin-Extension Nasitta Keita, University of Wisconsin-Madison Marley Uran, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
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