Sometimes reaching out to the people closest to you can be the most meaningful
By Melanie Gaskins, Director of Education
We here at the Cherry Hill campus have chosen to focus our thoughts on our fellow students this holiday season! We have learned that some of our students are struggling to provide a special holiday for their young children, and we want them to know that the Harris School can be like a family when it comes to lending a hand.
First, we talked with the instructors and students in our four programs: Professional Medical Assistant, Health Claims Specialist, Computer Accounting Technology, and Legal Office Technology programs. We wanted to learn more about the students who needed help and what kind of help they needed.
Next, we started a Wish Tree. We placed holiday tags on the Wish Tree to show what sorts of things would help these students most during the holidays. The tags included items such as children’s clothes, children’s shoes, and toys. Both students and staff have been generous in purchasing the items shown on the tags.
Who are the students we reached out to? They are all unique individuals with different stories to tell, but they share in common the same goal: working toward a new career path in order to improve their futures and the futures of their children. Read more about our courageous students:
- One student is in the Computerized Accounting Technology program during the day, and in the evenings she works at a fast food restaurant to help make ends meet. She is here at Harris working toward a more secure career for herself and a better life for her 2-year-old daughter.
- One student is a day student in the Professional Medical Assistant program with two girls, ages 11 and 1. She is a single mother, and is coming to school to improve herself as a role model for her daughters and is trying not to give up on her dreams.
- One student is in the evening Professional Medical Assistant program. She takes care of her three-year old daughter during the day. She wants to start a career to pave a brighter future for herself and her daughter.
- One student is about to graduate from the Health Claims Specialist program. She has a 7-year-old boy, and has faced difficult times including a period when she lived in a shelter. She considers her impending graduation this month to be the best holiday gift ever.
In addition to the Wish Tree, the freshmen students organized a food drive so that we can provide food baskets for the students and their children. We are so proud of all of our students for making the decision to come to Harris to further their education and improve their career readiness. And we are thankful to everyone who lent a helping hand to their peers. Knowing that we are helping some of our students provide for their young children during the holiday season is a wonderful feeling! We believe that sometimes, charity begins at home.