Over the summer, Mercyhurst University sophomore Erin Hershelman participated in a 3,200 mile pro-life walk across the United States.
Hershelman, an accounting major at Mercyhurst, began the walk in Seattle, Wash., on May 24, and ended it in Washington D.C. on Aug. 12.
The walk was one of three cross country walks that the Crossroads Pro-Life Organization hosts each summer.
Hershelman decided to participate in the walk this year because she feels that the pro-life movement was something that she believes in.
Hershelman has been confident in her beliefs for a while, but decided that she wanted to do something to share them with others. The walk was a perfect opportunity for this.
Whenever she and her group members walked, they wore pro-life shirts that would often cause curiosity among drivers. Many people driving by stopped to ask them what they were doing.
“I loved talking to people about the purpose of our walk,” Hershelman said.
On the weekends, the group would take a break from walking and speak at churches in the area. At the churches, they would receive donations, which is how they were able to purchase food and supplies during their walk and lived “only off donations.”
The group would also sleep in churches or the homes of generous families.
The cross country walk was itself a symbol for Hershelman and the other marchers’ beliefs.
It was described by Hershelman as “a sacrifice for those who don’t have a voice.”
According to Hershelman, the walking, combined with daily prayer, reminded her of why she was walking every day, and kept her going, even when encountered with stray dogs, big snakes and speeding cars.
After 3,200 miles, Erin said she would gladly do it again to show that she is “a college student who believes in pro-life.”
While on campus, Hershelman enjoys basketball, weight lifting and being secretary of the Physical Fitness Club, as well as participating in Mercyhurst Youth Retreats and Catholic Leadership Education (MYRACLE).