At the Medgar Evers College graduation ceremony on Wednesday, June 5, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a little woman named Nekhidia Harris, also known as Nikki, walked across the stage to receive her degree with honor. She may be just under 3 feet tall, but she is a woman of indomitable spirit.
Nikki was born over 20 years ago with numerous medical issues, such as brittle bones. Doctors were pessimistic about her survival and told her mom she would survive only for three days. However, the little miracle continues to thrive after undergoing multiple surgeries and sustaining several fractures.
“When the doctors saw that the 3 days had passed, they said 3 months, but that passed too, then they said she wouldn’t be able to walk nor write because her hands were in fists and couldn’t move. They even gave me the option of putting her in a home for disabled children, but I said no. Just look at her now,” Nikki’s mom, Mrs. Dasline Harris, told ExtraordinaryJamaicans blog.
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) June 5, 2019
Even today, no doctor is able to diagnose Nikki’s unique condition. “They compared her DNA to other people of short stature (little people) thinking that was it but it doesn’t match,” Mrs. Harris added.
However, regardless of what her condition is, it never deters Nikki from beating the odds. The strong-willed woman, who will turn 25 this October, lives to prove that her small stature is nothing short of a blessing.
With her miniature size, one might think that Nikki would be the subject of ridicule in school. However, she was just the opposite. “I was never teased, people may look at first out of curiosity but when they see me interacting with others they become more relaxed,” she explained.
This is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it Look What the Lord Has Done Nekhidia was given 3…
In fact, the independent, confident, and cheerful Nikki was the one who stood up for her disabled classmate when she was being bullied. “There was a girl at her school in a wheelchair that the children used to make fun of, Nikki called her Guidance Counsellor and set up a meeting because she said the teasing had to stop!” Mrs. Harris proudly recounted of her daughter’s kind gesture.
Despite being as tiny as a toddler, the helpful Nikki lives an extraordinary life. Her mother told WABC in an interview, “She lights up a room no matter what darkness is in the room.”
Nikki is no different from the rest of the others her age. Like her peers, she attended college.
When she was a student, Nikki, also a graduate of the Kingsborough Community College, started volunteering her time as a part-time preacher and motivational speaker for both parents and children. She encourages parents to support and love their children despite their physical or psychological setbacks.
Other than all the above accomplishments, Nikki has co-founded the Harris Family Vision Foundation with her sister, Kimberly. Through the non-profit charitable organization, the family helps the disabled and the less fortunate in Jamaica and all around the globe.
“My mom and dad always come back here and in their hometown and give out back-to-school stuff, and as we got older my sister and I decided to start a foundation to give back to the community; and, like my dad says, charity begins at home,” Nikki told the Jamaica Observer.
Speaking to ExtraordinaryJamaicans blog, both sisters offered words of encouragement to youngsters who were going through hard times. “Joshua 1:6 helps me, I know things happen for a reason but I know that God is always with me, in the good or bad,” Nikki said.
Meanwhile, Kimberly quoted James 1:2-4, explaining: “It changed my outlook on life. It made me realize that everything happens for a reason so when the hard times come, I don’t let them bother me.”
Co-founder Nekhidia Harris from the Harris Family Vision Foundation praying at Trinity prayer breakfast
Posted by HarrisFamily Visions on Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Nikki’s guiding philosophy? It’s a quote from Marcus Garvey. She recited, “If you do not have confidence in yourself you are twice defeated in the race of life.”
After completing her bachelor’s program in social work, the remarkable Nikki is moving forward toward yet another goal. She plans to do a Masters program at the York College, according to WABC. It seems the sky’s the limit to what this confident young woman can accomplish.
The enthusiastic girl, who has defied all odds, says she “has used her brain as her height.”
Without a doubt, Nekhidia Harris is a living testament to this statement: “You can’t always be strong, but you can always choose to be brave.” No matter how small you think you are, be courageous and confident and you can achieve anything.