Graduation day is a day when hundreds of individuals celebrate achievements that have taken years to realize. The moment they walk across the stage to receive their diploma is one that signifies ambition, hard work, struggle and success. And for Susan Harris, that moment was shared and celebrated with family and friends watching her take the next step toward her future.
Harris’ story is made up of winning battles against addiction, struggling to stay on her feet, leaving an abusive relationship, raising her children alone, and overcoming adversity. Harris fought and she won. Today she is celebrating her academic success as a college graduate. She is sharing her story with others so they, too, can understand that there is a way; that they can overcome what they are battling; that they can have a future and see their life begin again.
For Harris, her future holds new meaning. With her college degree in business administration and management, she dreams of starting her own non-profit organization to help women and families overcome the same types of struggles she herself had to overcome. For now, she will continue her career at Sam’s Wholesale Club, participating in the Manager’s Training Program. She has ambitions of obtaining her master’s degree from Newman University unless her job takes her elsewhere.
Harris looks forward to mentoring at the Women’s Initiative Network to help inspire others and work with the Sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in any way that she can.
Harris currently provides motivational keynotes for United Way, Women’s Initiative Network and Soroptimist, and will continue to speak publicly when called upon. “There’s more aspects to my story than just the school part,” Harris says, “so depending on the organization, that’s where I clarify my story, especially for the organizations that have helped me through this process.”
Watch Harris giving her reflection at the Newman 2016 Baccalaureate Mass.