My name is Jayla Symone’ Harvell, born January 25, 1994 to John and Anita Harvell. I have had the opportunity to have American Sign Language as a second language due to both of my parents being legally deaf since birth. I have one other sibling who has been blessed to be amongst the hearing. We both were born in Richmond, VA and raised in Newport News, VA where we attended Denbigh High School. While in attendance, I cheered for all four years. During my senior year I played soccer as well.
As a child, I always wanted to be a lawyer or children’s advocate. However, I quickly switched to wanting to be a developmental counselor. I have had many educational influences in my life. None of those people however, have gone to further their education by attending a college or university. Wanting to become a developmental counselor encouraged my love of writing and the ability to read others interpersonally.
Chowan University has opened a door of opportunities. If I were to graduate from Chowan University class of 2016, I would be the first to graduate college in my family. I know that means my family’s expectations of me will be high, but as long as I put my all into it, I feel I can excel greatly. I feel as though I am inclined to never give up and have no regrets being able to attend the First Flight program feels as though it gave me a head start on Chowan life.
Transitioning from high school to college, majoring in psychology, will definitely be a challenge I am ready to face head on. On my way to SOAR and First Flight, I had the same thought in my mind, “This is really happening. I really am a college student.” As I proceeded into registration, I was excited to see what was in store for me. Being able to share the hardships, challenges, and disappointments with my best friend makes it seem all the better. Although it is difficult to leave my home, family, and lifestyle in Newport News, I know that they would be proud of my achievements. As I strive to become a...