In 1988, Erin left Woodrow Wilson High School and began teaching at California State University.  In doing so, she hoped that she could inspire other future teachers to help disadvantaged children. She then started the Freedom Writers foundation.  The Freedom Writers mission is to positively impact communities by decreasing high school drop out rate.  It is a non-profit organization. She also had put together a Freedom Writers Institute teacher training workshop.  It's a 5 day workshop to help teachers know how to deal with disadvantaged students and how to help students succeed. 

In an interview Erin explains how she got her inspiration to help her students the way she did.  "My inspiration came from a note that was passed around my class that was making fun of an African American student.  When I compared that note to the Holocaust propaganda, my students didn’t even know what the Holocaust was.  It was truly a teachable moment when we connected the dots of the realities between the Holocaust and the gang violence that my students personally knew.  If we don’t teach history, we are bound to repeat it and I wanted to teach my students to know about the history that they were unknowingly repeating."