Erin Lopes MPH ’99 writes, “I graduated from The School of Public Health with an MPH in 1999. My adviser was Lee Riley (I was one of his Brazil students). The same year I graduated from UCB I had a son, Tommy, now 14 years old. Tommy was diagnosed with autism in 2002. I’ve been actively involved in the autism community ever since. I live with my family in Philadelphia.
“I received the Hometown Heroes Award from The Philadelphia Union (professional soccer team) in April 2014 for my work with Scoring Goals For Autism, an annual soccer tournament fundraiser that benefits the Autism Science Foundation. This one-of-a-kind indoor soccer tournament offers both competitive team play for adult players as well a TOPSoccer skills and drills clinic for children and adolescents with special needs including autism. Our mission is to create a day of soccer that builds inclusion, compassion and community for children with disabilities including autism that goes beyond the soccer field. Several coaches from local youth soccer clubs who have participated in Scoring Goals For Autism as volunteers in our special needs soccer clinic have gone on to start TOPSoccer programs at their local clubs so that special needs children have opportunities to play year round. In 2014 Scoring Goals For Autism raised over $40,000 for autism research. I was very proud to receive this award!”