Erma Scott Bridgewater

Is a native of Champaign, was born on Tremont Street in the north part of the city in 1913. She was the daughter of Raymond Mac and Sarah Wilson Scott. She attended Champaign schools and was a 1937 graduate of the University of Illinois. In 1939, the City of Champaign created the Department of Recreation to replace the W.P.A. programs and she became Director of the program at Douglass Center. She married Cecil Bridgewater of Tuscola, Illinois. They had three children: Cecil, Ron and Cassandra.

Mrs. Bridgewater was employed as Relocation Officer for the Urban Renewal Program and later she was named Housing Specialist for the Community Development program. After twenty four years of employment with the City of Champaign, she retired in 1982. In 1991, she underwent a successful operation for breast cancer.

She has served on various boards and committees. She is a charter member of the local graduate chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and a charter member of the local chapter of NCNW. She has been a member of Bethel A.M.E. Church since age 12 and a member of the Bethel Choir for 70 years. Her hobby is swimming. She swims 30 laps five days a week and adds 6 more on her birthday to make a mile. Her goal is to swim a mile on her 90th birthday. Her favorite Bible verse is "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Audio-Interviews with her-done by the Students in the WILL-Youth Media Workshop