Erica Harris is a maverick; in the classroom, on the basketball or volleyball court, and in service to her family and community. She is willfully independent all the time and in all circumstances. She’s known by her teachers and coaches as someone who is willing to work hard to achieve her desired results and is not afraid of a challenge.
Erica applied and was accepted into Queens University of Charlotte, Lander University in Greenwood, and the University of South Carolina. Since Erica intends to earn a BS in Nursing, USC edged out the competition with one of the Southeast’s highly regarded nursing programs. Erica has a strong network of family and friendships here so its location away, but not too far from home, was also appealing. Even though she chose the University of South Carolina next year for its larger school setting and diversity of study body, the Gamecock sense of community and family is something she was attracted to since it is something that she has become accustomed to at CCES.
Like most college freshman, I am sure this summer will bring the pre-college nerves, but much like her arrival at CCES in the second grade, the feeling probably won’t last very long. Erica carries a cool confidence about herself. Well connected and supported by the faculty and her peers, Erica carries a persona of poise, high self-worth, strong radars of right and wrong, and an ability to lead. She states that her experience at CCES has been something more than she could have ever imagined for herself. “It has encouraged me to be confident and persistent, not only in terms of the challenging workload, but generally in life as well.” She mentions repeatedly the friendships she has made and the sense of community that defines CCES; noting that it is a “family,” one that will be here for her even after she goes off to college in the fall.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to look back on times like this and be as fortunate to say how great of a relationship I still have with my first CCES teacher, or even the first friend that I made in her class. I’ve been able to experience so many things and have so many fond memories at CCES, I’m so thankful to say that I’ve been able to attend such a unique school like this one.”
Erica might feel lucky to be a part of all CCES has to offer, but in reality, it is students like her that make this such a talented, motivated, and involved community. “Erica has a growth mindset,” says Bartley Sides, Associate Director of College Counseling. “She’s unwavering in her attempt to improve and do better. Erica’s peers respect her and look to her for guidance. Towards her teachers and administrators, she’s thoughtful and respectful.” He notes that one of her academic strengths is her ability to develop creative ways to understand new material. The maverick spirit at its best.
Always focused and determined, Erica has participated on the varsity basketball, volleyball, and softball teams, captaining the basketball and volleyball teams her senior year. She is a power forward on the basketball court and contributed in leading the team to a state championship in 2019. She serves the school on the Vestry, represents CCES female athletes in the Cavalier Leadership Institute, and has challenged herself through enrollment in the rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. Erica earned the James B. Conyers Sportsmanship Award in the eighth grade, given for outstanding sportsmanship in interscholastic sports, she is a National Spanish Exam honoree, was inducted into the National Society of High School Scholars, earned a CCES Minority Scholarship recipient, as well as a regular spot on the Honor Roll. When she’s not involved in school or athletics, Erica works a part-time job. “She understands the importance of hard work as well as the value of helping out others whenever possible,” said Mr. Sides.
Erica intends to pursue a career in either pediatric or critical care nursing. One thing is clear— whatever Erica’s future holds she will embrace it with poise, determination, and grace.
JUST FOR FUN!
What is your favorite CCES memory? Being able to win the state championship (Varsity Basketball) my senior year alongside my teammates.
Do you have any superstitions? I am very superstitious about the saying “splitting a pole is bad luck.” Anytime I’m with friends or family, I always make sure no one splits anything when walking so that neither of us will have bad luck!
Where in the world would you like to get lost? Mykonos, Greece
What is your favorite community organization? Youth Base. I love the relationships I’ve been able to form with some of the kids there!
Favorite Netflix Series? Either All American or The Blacklist.