“The immigration system is incredibly complicated and can be very traumatic for the individuals who go through it. I hope to be able to use my Spanish skills and cultural competencies to make that process an easier one for immigrants in Virginia as an attorney,” said Harris, who is graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in December with a dual bachelor’s degree in international studies with a concentration in Latin America and foreign language with a concentration in Spanish.
Harris is graduating from the School of World Studies in the College of Humanities and Sciences only two and half years after enrolling at the university thanks to 50 credit hours she accumulated via AP credit in high school plus 15 credits total over two summers at VCU and 18 credit hours every semester.
She became proficient in Spanish after living in Mexico for two years as a child. Harris also attended a Spanish immersion program in school in Arlington, Virginia, where she has lived for most of her life.
“During elementary school, the entire school was Spanish immersion. In middle and high school, the Spanish immersion program was housed within schools that were mainly standard high school,” she said. “Half of my classes were in Spanish. I never had a science class taught in English until the 10th grade. I was very fortunate to go through that program and have that opportunity.”
Harris had varied interests in high school that included a strong involvement in theater.
“I originally came to VCU as a stage management and international studies major, focusing on the intersection of politics and theater in my work and research,” she said.
By Joan Tupponce for VCU NEWS
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