This spring, Nate Harris was filled with pride as he graduated from University of Wisconsin – Parkside (UW – Parkside) with his bachelor’s degree. He had accomplished something that nobody else in his family had. Yet, going to college had not always been his plan. Halfway through high school, he transferred to Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy (HFCA), which he referred to as a major turning point in his life because it was there he made the decision that he would be the first in his family to earn a degree.
While at HFCA, Nate also joined College Possible. His first coach, Jess, inspired in him the idea that he could be anything in his life. Any uncertainties Nate had about going to college began to dissipate as he went on college tours and practiced for the ACT. During his senior year, he met his coach Ty who would eventually be like an older brother to him. He would continue to serve as Nate’s coach through his freshman year at UW – Parkside.
When Ty’s final term of service ended, this was not the last time he and Nate would see one another. Ty began at a job at Parkside where they would continue to see one another on campus often and remain in touch!
“Nate was one of the reasons I chose to continue my career in higher education at UW-Parkside,” said Ty. “Nate has always had the ability to lead quietly through his loyalty and actions. You can always count on Nate to be there when it counts.”
At times, when facing difficult circumstances Nate felt that he should leave school. He credits the support of his family and friends, but also Ty, for helping him stay on track towards his goals. Ty was always there to listen and give him advice about anything, no matter if it was about school or life.
Nate continued to work hard studying Sports Management with a minor in coaching. As a former basketball player, he is incredibly passionate about sports and shared that he can’t imagine working in any other field. Throughout most of his time at Parkside, he got to do just that as the student manager for the women’s basketball team, a role he truly enjoyed. Nate’s determination, passion and resilience paid off as he earned his degree. His next goal is to become the director of a basketball team.
“Coming from the inner city of Milwaukee, not a lot of kids who look like me graduate college, especially those who are the first in their family to graduate. I feel like I did something that nobody in my immediate family has done. I did it. People can say whatever they want about me, they can’t take away my degree. No matter what I do in life, I can say I have a college degree. Not everyone can say that.”