Hello again! It's Emily, here with another graduating Senior profile! Khadiyjah Harrington is originally from Yonkers, New York. She attended Sacred Heart High School. Last year, Khadiyjah moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, attending Tallwood High School.
Khadiyjah first heard about EFLI through an advertisement in the paper when she was in the 9th grade. Her parents pushed her to interview for the program and she ended up deciding to apply. Khadiyjah and I were in the same session and really connected. My favorite thing about Khadiyjah is that she is a wonderful listener. Khadiyjah’s favorite experience of the first year was our retreat, because it allowed for people to really get to know each other better. Once the program was over, Khadiyjah wanted to stay involved in EFLI because she liked helping in the community and the exposure it offered her to new types of ideas about feminism and women’s rights.
The following summer, several of the previous year’s participants came back to participate in a second-year EFLI program, Leading for Impact. Khadiyjah and I created a “deep dive action project” with two other EFLI participants using Tumblr, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms to address societal pressures faced by adolescents and teenagers. Khadiyjah was always hilarious during the process: whenever we were stressed we knew Khadiyjah could lighten the mood by making us laugh. It was an amazing bonding experience working in that group of four and I truly got to get to know Khadiyjah and the other girls very well.
For our third summer, we worked as interns on Drishti: Point of Focus, a journal for teens by teens that focused on the EFLI themes of creativity, community, confidence and connection. Khadiyjah says this was her most challenging year because at some points the journal did not come out the way others wanted it to. We had to learn how to take into account constructive criticism in order to improve it, which was challenging but ultimately rewarding. Spending those five weeks together in such a close environment while working on the journal was a fantastic way to culminate our experience as EFLI participants for the past three years.
Since moving to Virginia, it has been difficult for Khadiyjah to stay involved in the EFLI community during the school year. However, Khadiyjah has tried to use the practices she learned during the different programs by becoming involved in “Noble Teens,” a community service-based project for teens to help other teens in Virginia Beach. At school Khadiyjah enjoys English and Art. Outside of school, she participates in Martial Arts.
In the fall, Khadiyjah is going to Hampton University to study architecture. At college, she hopes to get involved in women’s clubs, African American clubs, and have the opportunity to continue to practice Martial Arts. She is most excited to get the experience of meeting new people and being away from home.
Khadiyjah believes that EFLI taught her to have respect for other people- especially women. It taught her to expect the unexpected when getting to know a person and to readily accept the lifestyles of others. Khadiyjah is an incredibly understanding person and I am sure college will be amazing for her!