Her well-rounded experience at American Heritage helped Carla Erksine thrive as she pursued her college education. A scholar-athlete on Villanova's Division 1 Women's Tennis team, Carla also sought out opportunities for cultural exposure through study abroad programs. She studied international law in Geneva, Switzerland, and transatlantic relations in Lambrecht and Berlin, Germany.
After graduating from Villanova University with a dual degree in Political Science and Geography & Environmental Studies in 2010, she earned her
Juris Doctor at Northeastern University School of Law in 2013, as well as her Masters in Environmental Law & Policy at Vermont Law School the same year.
Today, Carla is an attorney at Ciklin, Lubitz & O'Connell, a law firm based in West Palm Beach where she practices land use, zoning, and real estate.
But that's not all she does.
Carla also holds board positions at several nonprofit organizations throughout the community, including Sunset Speakers Toastmasters, The Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach, The Urban League of Palm Beach County, The F. Malcolm Cunningham Bar Association, and the Palm Beach County Bar Association.
And there's more.
Not only is Carla a nationally qualified bikini fitness competitor in the National Physique Committee–a fun challenge and a great way to stay fit and healthy, she says–but, Carla is also the reigning Miss Boca Raton USA.
"I value the importance of giving back, and through my current title as Miss Boca Raton USA 2018, I have the opportunity to prioritize philanthropy by volunteering with amazing community organizations that are doing their part to improve our communities," Carla states.
She recently launched a company called Purposeful Citizen. The mission is to build a team of volunteers who want to make a positive impact on communities through purposeful action relating to issues in health & fitness, the environment, youth, and homelessness.
Carla is of Jamaican heritage and grew up in Boynton Beach. She attended American Heritage from grades 7-12. "I believe the challenging curriculum offered through the honors and AP courses provided me with the knowledge and critical thinking skills I utilized as I went into higher education," Carla says. Her participation in the AHS tennis team, Key Club, and Spanish Honor Society taught her key lessons that help her to be successful today.
Some of the teachers who motivated and inspired Carla when she was a student at American Heritage were Mrs. Asher, Mrs. Kimpton, and Mrs. Meyer.
"Taking advantage of the curriculum offered at Heritage, getting involved in different clubs and organizations, challenging myself to do something new and go beyond what was expected–getting a well rounded experience and finding a balance of activities–prepared me for the years ahead by giving me leadership skills, resilience, and an open mind," says Carla.
She hopes to be crowned Miss Florida USA 2018 at the pageant in July, 2017. It's a goal certainly within her grasp, for Carla is living proof that anything is possible if your heart and mind lead the way.
"I hope to inspire individuals of all ages to dream big."