ERICA L. AYALA is a New York-based sportswriter. She has covered events such as the WNBA Draft, the Inaugural National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) Isobel Cup Finals, and the 2016 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement.
Erica received her B.A in Political Science, with a minor in African-American Studies from Elon University in 2008. As a member of the Elon University softball team, she was selected as a 2006 Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar. In 2015, she received the Top 10 Under 10 Award from the Elon Young Alumni Council.
In addition to sports, Erica is a youth justice advocate. She has worked for over ten years with the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools®, a summer literacy program that seeks to fosters a love for reading and promote literacy in communities throughout the United States. She was named a Champion for Change for Children by the Children’s Defense Fund during the organization’s 40th Anniversary (2013). She currently works as the Project Manager of the GPS4Kids Collective Impact initiative at the Westchester Children’s Association. She was recently named by New York Nonprofit Media as 2017 40 under 40 Rising Star in the New York nonprofit sector.
A love for sports and passion for advocacy brought Erica to sportswriting. As a former athlete, she feels strongly about providing other children, especially girls, the opportunity to excel in athletics. As an advocate, she is drawn to the mission to continue to promote gender equity in the coverage, the funding and the compensation of girls and women in sports.
Erica received her Master of Public Administration degree at the New York University Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service in May. She is also a huge New York Mets fans!