Standing at a little over two feet, Nekhidia Harris is proof anything is possible. Born with a brittle bone disease, doctors gave Harris just three days to live.
Twenty-four years later, Harris defied all expectations and the “just three days to live” prediction, graduating with from Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York with a degree in social work last year.
The doctors told her parents that she wouldn’t be able to write, walk read, and do other stuff. Broken her bones a dozen times, Harris underwent surgeries multiple times.
“I feel so excellent,” Harris told ABC New York. “After the hard work, and sleepless nights sometimes, all-nighters, it feels really good that I accomplished my Bachelor’s [degree] in social work.”
Now 25, Harris is pursuing a master’s degree in social work at York College in Queens. Aware of her challenges and defying all the bullying in school, she learned to use her brain as her height and she stuck with that. “And I surely have used my brain as my height,” the Edward R. Murrow High School alumna said.
“I was excited and then I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t want to cry,'” she told Inside Edition. “They were tears of joy that I really got to this moment.
Harris co-founded the Brooklyn-based Harris Family Vision Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping underprivileged children. The foundation, which was officially founded in 2011, mostly provides assistance to Jamaica, Haiti, and St Vincent.
“My mom and dad always come back here and in their hometown and give out back-to-school stuff, and as we got older my sister and I decided to start a foundation to give back to the community; and, like my dad says, charity begins at home,” said Harris.
Harris loves to help people especially children, telling HBCU Buzz, “I also have a voice, and I love children. They gravitate to me, so I want to help them in every way I can.”
“If you want to give back, give back a little bit even if it’s a prayer. Or donate to an organization even if you don’t have the funds to go all over the place. Find an organization and do that. Don’t let anything stop you,” she added.