By Hannah Manandhar

This week, the student spotlight shines on Tawanda (“Tia”) R. Harper.

Harper is currently finishing her pre-requisites for Pharmacy School at PPCC and UCCS to become a Pharmacist or a Pharmaceutical Researcher. She chose pharmacy because it aligned with her prior medical experience serving in the United States Air Force as a Medical Laboratory Technician.

Harper said, “When I walk into King Soopers or Walmart and see the Pharmacist’s face on those posters, I think, Someday, that will be me.”

Though most of her classes are at UCCS, now, Harper has had trouble with letting go of Pikes Peak Community College. She said, “I truly love PPCC because of the professional, positive and caring academic environment offered to all walks of life.”

Harper’s daughter, Nya, is her teammate in life. “Through parenting her,” she said, “I have grown in more ways than I can imagine.”

Focusing on her future  Harper said, “Another challenge I have is worrying about the what ifs. At times I think that it would have been easier to stay on course in the Medical Laboratory field. But I just couldn’t settle for taking the path of least resistance. To keep those negative thoughts at bay, I have a contingency plan A) Pharmacy School, B) Graduate School for Chemistry, and C) in the works.”

“Once I put things into perspective, I try to do what Michael Baisden, a radio personality says: “Keep my eyes on the prize!”