A sudden illness took Erik Stenberg’s life in 2018, but his legacy burns infinitely in the students whose lives he changed by listening to and believing in them.
Stenberg’s career in teaching brought him to several schools, most recently Terra Linda High School in San Rafael, California, where he taught English and helped students prepare for life after high school through Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID. He made such a lasting impact that Terra Linda offers two scholarships in his name.
Stenberg spent three years after graduating from Saint John’s volunteering with AmeriCorps in New York and New Orleans, where he served as an educator in underserved communities in need of strong male influencers. He earned his master’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota and then started his 15-plus years as a teacher, touching lives so deeply that student after student took the podium to honor him at his memorial service.
“To me, this is the legacy that we all can consider,” one of his nominators wrote. “How do we do the little things well? How are we fully present in each moment? How do we consider the small things that will have an outsized impact?”