Insights > Harrison Helps Youth Seek Success Through STEM Opportunities

Harrison Helps Youth Seek Success Through STEM Opportunities

05/17/2019

Between work, motherhood and college, one would think Brandiace Harrison would have no time or energy left to volunteer to help others. But that's not how she was brought up.

"My parents raised me and my four siblings in church where we were required to be actively involved in the youth ministry: children's choir, usher, praise dance, Bible study, Sunday school, etc." Harrison said.

Growing up in an encouraging environment, Harrison was given the tools both to recognize and address her own gaps in learning and to help others work on theirs.

"I wanted to serve others in areas where I felt as though I fell short early on. I didn't have a strong science, technology, engineering and mathematics background prior to attending college, so I knew that I wanted to volunteer my time in organizations that encourage students at an early age to pursue their wildest dreams,” she said.

She found a good fit in Arkansas Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, where she serves as secretary to the organization and chairman and treasurer of Project Starting Block. Project Starting Block encourages minority youth across the state to pursue higher education in STEM. The program includes an introduction to engineering, college campus field trips and an industry tour. Harrison and her team volunteer more than 40 hours per quarter to ensure the youth have successful and meaningful experiences. 

Harrison is also secretary for the Arkansas Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, for whom she scored a $750 Community Connectors grant this year to help fund college scholarships. She's also an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a youth leader at Second Baptist Church in Little Rock.

"My life's mission is paying it forward to the youth in my community," she said.

Harrison is a 2010 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.  She majored in industrial technology, then obtained an MBA from the University of Phoenix-Colorado in 2013. Taking advantage of Entergy's education reimbursement program, Harrison is currently working to be certified as a project management professional. 

Harrison started her career at Entergy in October 2014 as an engineering associate in Batesville, Ark. She currently works as a managed account specialist in the Entergy Business Center and aspires to one day work in regulatory. She's both a student and a teacher. In January, Harrison became an adjunct professor at UAPB, teaching principles of ergonomics.

"I am very conscious of setting an example for my 8-year-old daughter, Kori-London," Harrison said. "Being a parent might be the hardest, scariest and most rewarding job of a lifetime. Volunteering not only allows me to help others in need, but those same people help me realize areas where I could potentially fall short in rearing my daughter. The best moments I have with my daughter are telling her, 'Man, my parents tried to tell me this very same thing growing up,' and then I get to proudly tell my parents two words that we should all use more: 'Thank you!'"


David Lewis
Communications Specialist II