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Proud CPS Alumnus and Dedicated HBCU Graduate Embodies CPS Legacy

Meet Julie Harris, a dedicated Intervention Specialist at Winton Hills Academy and proud graduate of a historically black college. Her remarkable journey began as a young student at Western Hills University High School, where she searched for a perfect college fit. 

After Julie proudly walked across the stage at Western Hills Academy in 1990, she followed in her sister’s footsteps and attended Bennett College, a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). Bennett College, in the heart of Greensboro, North Carolina, is a private, historically Black liberal arts college exclusively for women, with a rich history dating back to its start in 1873. For Julie, the moment she set foot on the Bennett College campus was when her life took a transformative turn.

Reflecting on her college choice, Harris remarked, "I initially thought I wanted to attend a large university, but then I realized that wasn't the right fit because I had always been an average student. However, Bennett College pushed me to work harder."

The immediate sense of belonging on campus made Bennett College special for Harris. It wasn't just a place of education but a community of supportive individuals who genuinely cared about her future. "One thing I truly cherish about the HBCU experience is that at Bennett, you couldn't simply skip a class and disappear into a number. You weren't just another student; they knew you by name and even came knocking on your door if you missed a class," Harris said.

Harris’s positive HBCU experience has inspired her to guide many students, including her daughter, to find a school where they can find support, encouragement and the opportunity to grow into their best self. Harris' use of positive language surrounding community, sharing her experience at a HBCU and setting high expectations for her students by example has encouraged many students to follow the path to a HBCU.