Harris, a student in the Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, is a resilient advocate for equity and access to opportunities. From a young age, she has aspired to be a changemaker and create a better world for future generations.
"When I learned that my race and biological sex created automatic setbacks for me in society, it challenged me to understand how other societal systems define us," said Harris, a native of Beaver County. "People do not get to choose the circumstance they are born into, so I want to work with communities to provide them with better opportunities so that every person has the ability reach their greatest potential."
Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities working to advance the public purposes of higher education, is connecting 173 students from 38 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico to form this year's cohort.
"I am thrilled that a changemaker like Kayla has been selected for such a distinguished honor," said Duquesne University President Ken Gormley, who nominated Harris for the fellowship. "Like Duquesne, Campus Compact recognizes the importance of working alongside our neighbors to address systemic challenges. Kayla lives out our Duquesne mission by standing up for equity and opportunity in Pittsburgh-being named a Newman Civic Fellow is a testament to her ability to ignite positive change."
The fellows will immerse themselves in a year of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional and civic growth. The cornerstone of the fellowship is the annual Convening of Fellows, which offers intensive skill-building and networking over the course of two days. Fellows are also offered pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.
The Newman Civic Fellowship program is supported by the KPMG Foundation.