It’s not every day that you meet someone who can say they are still in love with their career after more than two-and-a-half decades. Then again, it’s not every day that you meet someone like Felicia Harrison.
“My students – they just get me,” Felicia said. “As someone who is also going through school again as an adult, I can relate to a lot of the struggles that my students face. We support each other.”
As a humanities teacher at The Excel Center® – Goodwill’s tuition-free high school for adults – Felicia teaches both English & history at the Shadeland campus. While her passion for education is evident the moment you speak with her, Felicia’s path to get there was not always as clear. In fact, her journey started the same way as many of her students.
“I really struggled in high school,” recalls Felicia. “I once had a counselor tell me that I was not college material and that I should pursue something else.”
Fortunately, she had a network of support that encouraged her to keep pushing forward. After graduating from IUPUI with a degree in education, Felicia worked for many years as an elementary school teacher. However, the voice of that counselor never quite left her head. Nearly 20 years later, Felicia returned to school, graduating in 2019 with a master of arts in history and continuing that same year to pursue her doctorate in adult and continuing education.
“I had someone in my corner, cheering me on, ensuring that I knew I could beat the odds during those early years,” she said. “When I came to The Excel Center, I knew that was the spirit that I wanted to bring to my classroom. From the moment a student walks through my door, I am ready to be their biggest cheerleader. I make sure they know I’m here for them until they walk across that stage.”
As Felicia looks toward her final semesters in her doctoral program, she believes she finds just as much inspiration from her students as they do from her.
“There is a warmth and connection that is unique to The Excel Center. My students are just as much my cheerleaders as I am theirs. When I go across that stage, I’m taking them with me.”
To learn more about The Excel Center or to enroll, visit excelcenter.org.