What you see is not always what you get with Rakhia Harrold. Rakhia was born with Sickle Cell Disease, and despite daily medications, unpredictable pain and frequent discomfort, it’s often the case that fellow students and teachers do not know the underlying issues she faces every day. Sickle Cell Disease can be a painful and debilitating medical condition, yet it is not something others can see from the outside. Things as small as a minor change in temperature can cause significant issues for those with the disease, despite the general population not even noticing any difference. Despite these challenges, or maybe because of them, Rakhia has pushed forward to become a strong student with even stronger character.
Now in her junior year, Rakhia has developed a talent for writing and oral communication, openly declaring a desire to be a journalist willing to ask the tough questions. To get there, she has boosted her class load to include advanced English and science classes as well as Spanish to meet college admission requirements and be competitive for scholarships. She is preparing for the ACT and carries a cumulative 3.27 GPA after earning all As and one B last semester.
“Rakhia has become calm, tactful, and when she needs to be, a fierce warrior in school, in life, in relationships, and in her goals,” said her case manager, Laura Gys. “She navigates her classes factoring in distance door to door, incorporating a stop to the nurse to check her breathing, oxygen flow, and pain. And on top of all these extras, Rakhia’s academic drive and passion has only flourished!”