Eastland High School
Eastland High School
A passion for sports is in this all-state player’s blood; and a passion for service is in her heart.
Erin Henze was born to play sports. The daughter of a varsity girl’s basketball coach, she grew up courtside with her brothers, falling in love with the game in the process. She also developed a strong sense of respect and appreciation for her mother, who would help her and her brothers with their math homework and reading during water breaks at practice. “Despite her busy schedule, she never failed to make time for us. Her devotion inspires and encourages me to succeed on and off the field.”
And succeed she has. She is valedictorian of her class and an accomplished poet. In addition to basketball, she plays and excels in three other sports and has earned several prestigious awards, including being named 1,000 Point Scorer Club Sauk Valley Player of the Year in basketball. But she sees one of her greatest athletic feats as a team effort. During junior year, her best friend and one of the best players on the varsity team became ill with mono. That key player missed nine games, putting the team’s championship hopes in jeopardy. Still, the team persevered and put in the extra effort, ultimately advancing to the state level and placing second in the finals.
While sports victories are important to Erin, community service is an even greater reward. Erin holds a leadership role in several community and church organizations. And she is especially passionate about her work with the Madonna Renewal Center, a non-profit that cares for underprivileged young women. After her visit to the Center, she says, “I knew that I needed to do my part to help the Center succeed and flourish, as its goal is something that particularly resonates with me.” Since then, she’s organized groups of her peers to help with the Center’ projects and has recruited close to 100 volunteers to pitch in with renovating the building and working at the fundraiser dinner, an effort that has made a lasting difference for some of the most vulnerable members of her community.
“Anything is possible with the right amount of determination.”
~ Erin Henze ~