Looks aren’t everything, but presentation is key. You can be only you, and I can be only me. Greetings and salutations! I am Niquia S. Harris, a senior social work major from Willingboro, N.J., and I am humbly serving as your 40th Miss Bennett College for the 2017-2018 academic year.
As a former fostered youth, I never thought I would be in the position in which I proudly find myself today. I can recall the moment I was accepted to our beloved College and the emotions I felt. I was proud of myself for even applying, yet quickly discouraged because I had no assistance with taking the next steps. You see, I had constantly been told college was not an option for youth of “my kind”. Likewise, I was told if I chose to go out of state for college I wouldn’t last a year.
It was only a day before Welcome Week that I found a stable ride to North Carolina. But the moment I stepped onto Bennett College’s beautiful campus I knew I finally had a place to call home. As I tried to find and make my way through the undergraduate experience, I became involved in various activities and groups, and that’s when I first started acknowledging my own crown. Serving as Miss Sophomore and Miss Junior helped me recognize my purpose. The love and support I continuously receive from my Bennett sisters and our beloved Institution have made me realize it is incumbent upon me to offer that same love to those in need.
My platform, “Embracing Traditions and Expressing Individuality for A Seat at the Table”, is based on the journey I just shared. My passion is assisting others so they, too, can love themselves and who they are. I believe as your queen it is not my duty to sit on the throne but, instead, to prepare a table where we can ALL be seated for success. It truly doesn’t matter the cards we are dealt in life. What matters most is how we choose to play those cards. I consider Bennett College a home for lost butterflies, and as Miss Bennett College I pledge to show my sisters that they, too, can find their wings as they matriculate on these hallowed grounds.
Embrace what those who came before us left behind. Express who you have always been.
Niquia Harris, your 40th Miss Bennett College