“She's baaaack!” That's what my friends and family yelled in between hugs as soon as I tossed my bags down onto the ground. I was back home! I have to say, it's wonderful to be back, not only to the Detroit area, but to a station with people I know and respect. The FOX 2 family has welcomed me with open arms, and I thank all of you for doing the same in your homes.
Let's rewind a bit here… I grew up in Canton and attended Plymouth-Canton High School, though it was only Canton and Salem back then! I lived in Canton most of my life, attended Schoolcraft College while I figured out what I wanted to do, then moved to Detroit for a couple of years while I attended Wayne State University. I majored in Broadcast Journalism, and upon graduation, was honored as the 2009 Journalism Graduate of the Year. While at WSU, I also interned at FOX 2. Little did I know that a few years later I would return as a full-time reporter. (It was a dream that I had been brewing in my sleep, something that I'd only written down on paper.)
After attending Wayne State University, it was on to my first reporting job in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan. How lucky was I? I felt like I was on vacation. The honking horns of the city turned into quacking ducks outside on my patio! Plus, I was only a few hours away from my family. While up north, I reported for a few months before launching an all-local, daily news-magazine show called Upnorthlive Tonight, in which I produced, anchored, and reported. I love to make people forget about their crummy day at work, come home and have a few laughs – even at my expense sometimes. From that show, I also continued to report, fill-in anchor, write, shoot and produce for our other local newscasts.
Another opportunity I was given up north was radio! I completely fell in love with radio. I had the pleasure of working with the best crew up north on WTCM-FM and NEWSTALK 580. When I wasn't reporting, producing or hosting an event, I was on the radio. DJ'ing has become a passion of mine, and I hope to continue that throughout my career in broadcast. Plus, let's be honest, it's pretty nice wearing sweat pants and ZERO make-up to work!
Working in television up north provided me a unique opportunity to get involved with the community. One of my proudest moments was winning the 2012 Swing Shift & the Stars Dance-Off for Charity. It is a 4-month-long, localized version of Dancing With the Stars. Together, six couples, including my partner and I, raised more than $226,000 for six local and state charities, including my charity, Michigan Blood's “Be the Match” Bone Marrow program. A thrilling moment, but what happened months after was what brought tears to my eyes. A man came up to me and told me he had just gotten back from Grand Rapids. He said shortly after signing up to become a bone marrow donor, he was matched with someone in GR, desperately in need of a bone marrow transplant to survive. He stepped up and saved someone's life without hesitation.
The most important thing that I've learned during my time as a journalist is that it's our job to find the truth. To accomplish our mission we need help from the people we serve; you the viewer. Please drop me a line and help me tell your story or a story that you think needs to be told. The impact it may have on someone else could be life-changing.
Thank you for watching Fox 2. It's an honor to be working in a city I am proud to call home.
Facebook fan page: Erika Erickson FOX 2