Though only a junior in college, she has already battled the financial limitations of her single-parent upbringing, the challenges of racial discrimination - and she still maintains a 3.63 GPA.
Harris was recently awarded with the William Randolph Hearst /CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement. The award is annually presented to California State University students - one from each campus in the system - who demonstrate outstanding academic success, personal achievement, community service and financial need, and is among the highest forms of recognition for student achievement in the CSU. Scholarships of $3,000 are also presented to the awardees.
The CSU Trustees will honor Harris and fellow scholars on Tues., September 21 at the Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach.
At SSU, Harris found her niche and new "family," through her involvement in various campus organizations, including Black Scholars United, Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Join Us Making Progress (JUMP) and the athletics department. She has packaged food for shelters in the community at Redwood Empire Food Bank, tutored children at Evergreen Elementary, and has shared her experiences as an African-American woman at Sonoma State.
"I felt honored and humbled that my story had an impact on someone," said Harris.
Harris plans to become an engineer and a role model for other young women with similar aspirations.
"I am not going to let challenges stop me from achieving my goal of becoming an engineer," she said.
For more information on the Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award, visit the website at http://www.calstate.edu/foundation./hearst/.