Thursday, October 10, 2013

Remembering Mrs. Wanda Harris: A Howard Alumna's Impact on My Life

As we near the time for the Howard University 2013 Homecoming, I would like to honor a great lady, a Howard alumna, who gave back to the community via her service as the Director of the Guidance Department at Atlantic City High School.  Mrs. Wanda Harris was the Director of the Guidance Department of Atlantic City High School, where I volunteered for an hour each day during my senior year at Atlantic City High School.

As a student volunteer in the guidance office, I would answer phones, type, run errands, shelve books, etc.  The best part of this experience was meeting Mrs. Harris.   Mrs. Harris personally showed me the process of applying to colleges and applying for scholarships and financial aid.  She did not have to do this because I had a counselor, but thank God she did.  Her help made a huge difference in my life.  With her continual guidance, at that critical time in my life, I had the information and support that I really needed to succeed in getting into a good college. 

Mrs. Harris would notify me, and other students, as soon as scholarship information was available.  I would promptly fill out the application forms, provide information, write essays, and go to interviews to meet the requirements for the scholarship.  Mrs. Harris would remind me, whenever she saw me, to make sure that I submitted the information on time.   She reminded me to take the SAT on time, too. 

When I was accepted into Howard University, I quickly informed Mrs. Harris.  We rejoiced at the news.  I also told her the dormitory that I would be staying in was the Harriet Tubman Quadrangle - Truth Hall.  I told her the room that I was staying in, room 206, and she joyfully smiled and said that was the same exact room that she stayed in 30 years earlier when she was a Howard University student.  (My high school classmate, Krystal, was also accepted into Howard University and we stayed in that room.)  

Mrs. Wanda Harris passed away some years ago.  Yet, I will always remember what she did for me, and others, at Atlantic City High School.  In my heart, I thank Mrs. Harris, an awesome Howard University alumna, who gave back in her own special way.

By Angeline Bandon-Bibum

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