Nekhidia Harris may be short in stature, but honey, when she graduated this past week and walked across the stage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, she owned that stage! With a height of just under 3 feet tall, her spirit speaks volumes and is an inspiration to many.
“I was like, oh my gosh, this is really, really happening,” said Harris to ABC7-New York after graduating. “Oh my gosh, I thank God every day.”
Nekhidia was born over 25 years ago with numerous medical issues, such as brittle bones. Her doctors, who still don’t know what she suffers from, were initially very pessimistic about her survival and told her mom she would survive only for three days. However, the big-time graduate continues to thrive after undergoing multiple surgeries and sustaining several fractures.
“When the doctors saw that the 3 days had passed, they said 3 months, but that passed too, then they said she wouldn’t be able to walk nor write because her hands were in fists and couldn’t move. They even gave me the option of putting her in a home for disabled children, but I said no. Just look at her now,” Nikki’s mom, Mrs. Dasline Harris, told ExtraordinaryJamaicans blog.
Despite her physical setbacks, she’s managed to thrive due to the advice that her father gave her.
“‘Use my brain as my height,’ and I’ve stuck with that,” Harris said. “And I surely have used my brain as my height.”
“I feel so excellent,” she continues. “After the hard work, and sleepless nights sometimes, all-nighters, it feels really good that I accomplished my Bachelor’s (degree) in social work.”
In addition to her major graduation accomplishment, Nekhidia has co-founded the Harris Family Vision Foundation with her sister, Kimberly. Through the non-profit charitable organization, the family helps the disabled and the less fortunate in Jamaica and all around the globe.
“My mom and dad always come back here and in their hometown and give out back-to-school stuff, and as we got older…