By Sora Park, News Editor
Science teacher Erica Brauer is a busy individual. When she is not taking care of her newborn or running her acting industry, she’s in a third world country building schools.
Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Brauer knew at a young age that she wanted to pursue an acting career. Her passion for theater began as she joined her school’s play. What started off as a way to combat Brauer’s struggle with pronunciation turned into a career. Her participation in school plays carried over to her teen years as she was casted as the only middle school lead in a high school play.
“I remember being really nervous as I was the only seventh grader in a senior-majority play. But, that euphoria I felt walking off the stage made me realize that I needed to pursue this passion in some kind of way,” Brauer said.
Ever since, Brauer took her love for acting and founded Above the Curve Theatre, an organization dedicated to help actors in Los Angeles find a family of other passion-driven individuals. Here, Brauer puts on musical theatre productions in hopes of providing a platform for aspiring actors.
In addition to acting, Brauer also has a love for travel.
“I specifically enjoyed venturing around the east coast of Australia, roaming around the beaches and meeting new people,” she said.
And when she is not exploring the world, Brauer dedicates her summers to building schools in third world countries, from Malawi to Nicaragua to Haiti. Brauer leads a group of empowered young individuals to give regions without access to much water or food, a source of education. She especially focuses on providing young girls in third world countries an equal opportunity to learn.
“I try to give back because I am very lucky to live where I live and to have the opportunities that I have. And I think it is just as important to have young individuals recognize that they need to give back as well,” Brauer said.
As Brauer is currently working on finishing her Master’s degree in Science Education, raising a newborn, managing an acting company, travelling and planning summer trips to spread educational equity, and lastly, teaching the students chemistry, she reminds us all that we have the time to accomplish what we wish to do.
“I think there is a stigma with science teachers specifically that all they do is teach science. They are just science nerds. When people hear that I do theater and that I produce theater and that I have been an actress for a long time, I think it makes me a little more real for the students. I think there are a lot of people who have more than one passion and I find it neat to be able to relate to someone who does not want to do just this, but this and that,” Brauer said.