Like many of her peers, Ebony Harris ’20 was excited to start college the fall after high school graduation. Encouraged by her uncle and aunt, Campbell University alumni Freddie Butler ’96 and Vertina Butler ’95, she enrolled at the Buies Creek campus. “When I got to Campbell, I fell in love with the people,” she recalls, “there was plenty of people like me, and there was plenty of people that were different than me.”
The following years would prove to be a period of personal growth, and after two years, and with the help of her parents, Ebony moved back to Durham. She continued her studies at the Adult & Online Education Raleigh campus where she majored in Healthcare Management.
The residential and online formats gave Ebony the flexibility to work at UNC Hospital as a Certified Nurse Assistant while completing her Bachelor’s degree.
“That was the first job where I was actually able to put my hands to apply and work as a healthcare practitioner,” she says. “Healthcare management was the drive for me to continue my passion.”
In March, Ebony won the 2020 Wiggins Memorial Library Academic Symposium Merit Award for the Colorectal Screening Toolkit she developed during her internship at Piedmont Health.
“Communication with your team members, notifying your patients when they need to go get checked out, having information available for them when they come, follow-up; things like that are common sense in the medical field, but not a lot of people do them,” she explains. “For Piedmont, that was basically what was happening, everyone was not holding up their end of the bargain and lacking the basics, the foundation.”
When asked who inspires her, Ebony credits her parents and God. “My mom and my dad are big, influential people in my life,” she responds.“I would also like to say God was a huge role in everything thing I do and play a huge role in getting me to realize the independence I needed to have.” Having witnessed her parents struggle against multiple stereotypes and celebrating their professional success, Ebony knows she can accomplish anything she sets out to do.
In May, Ebony graduated with her Bachelor of Business Administration in Healthcare Management. She is currently enrolled at the Watts School of Nursing which she hopes will aid in her pursuit to becoming a Physician Assistant.