People do business with people they like and that is exactly what led Alicia Barnes to Harrison College; the people. “The main reason I chose to attend Harrison was because the staff took their time, answered all of my questions and were just wonderful,” she said. Interestingly enough, her children were the biggest influence during her time at Harrison, because they both decided to pursue higher education for a degree. Her daughter chose the same field, criminal justice, while her son has his sights set on a degree in social work when he graduates from high school. “Their decision made me feel so good and said to me that they had been paying attention!”
An extremely difficult challenge and obstacle that she faced and overcame happened during the last few weeks of the quarter when she and her fiancé were in an accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. “I still wonder how I passed everything with all of that going on. The staff at Harrison was great and so understanding. I was able to take the next three months off to be his full-time caregiver. Once I returned to school it was still very hard to attend class and care for him but I have done it, continue to do it and I am stronger because of it. I have even made the Dean’s List!” Barnes explained.
Not surprisingly a favorite memory for Barnes was graduating with her A.A.S. “It felt so good to walk up on stage and receive my diploma for something that I worked so hard for,” she shared. Currently she is employed at a home health agency that affords her the opportunity to earn income while still caring for her fiancé. On track to graduate with her B.S. in Criminal Justice in September of 2013, her plan is to seek a position in the field of her major at that point.
Barnes advice for someone considering Harrison College is this: “Harrison is the best college I have come across. Make sure you communicate with the staff and your instructors about any issues that arise. They are there to help you and in my opinion they do a great job!” Barnes’ heartfelt sentiments certainly seem to affirm the power of working with people who live out the values of faith, family, health and job.