Erin Henderson

‘Black Belt’ in Service – Erin Henderson

When Erin Henderson, of Snellville, Georgia, was just a year old, her parents discovered she suffered from an ophthalmological condition known as “lazy eye.” Technically amblyopia involves the brain’s switching off input from the optic nerve in one eye, which can cause blurred or reduced vision and, when untreated, possible long-term damage.

Henderson has no lasting problems or emotional scars from the long treatment ordeal she endured as a child, because of her doctor’s skill and empathy. Her doctor, too, once suffered from lazy eye and made her treatment plan the one he had experienced personally. That stuck with Henderson, who is in the pre-physician assistant program at Brenau, hoping that she, too, can become that kind of caring, connecting health care professional.

That is sort of her nature. Outside of studies, Henderson for the past four years has traveled each Friday to Atlanta to help with Love Ministries, an organization that provides food, drink and clothing to the homeless. As junior coordinator for her church’s branch of Love Ministries, she oversees the younger volunteers. “You learn things [by volunteering], things you take for granted,” Henderson said. “You appreciate what you have more. A hug can be a big deal to people without a home.”

She also draws prolifically in leather-bound sketchbooks, displaying an artistic bent she inherited from her mother, who is an assistant artist for a renowned glassworks creator. Still, there is another side to Henderson’s nature: she also has a black belt in martial arts.

However, it is service that kicks in her adrenalin. “I love working with others in the community,” she said. “I grew up being taught that serving others was something you did – that it was the right thing to do.”

You must be logged in to post a comment.