BSC Alum Continues to Pursue Educational Aspirations | Bismarck State College

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BSC Alum Continues to Pursue Educational Aspirations

Posted: Nov 21 2023
BSC Alum Continues to Pursue Educational Aspirations
This article was originally featured in the October 2023 edition of "The Mystician."


In Kenmare, ND, there is a cabinetry store called Modern Woodworks owned by Amy Harris and her husband, a Bismarck State College alumna. Beyond the front door is an array of samples of wood, handles and tiling. To the right is an office space where emails are answered - their three young children sometimes spend their time after school.

“My husband and I started our custom cabinetry business about 17 years ago in 2006. And so when we started our business, I helped stain and do some of those initial starting steps for the business,” Harris said. “I also did, and still do our office roles and responsibilities. My journey to start my college education didn’t really come into play until several years later.”

Harris graduated from high school in 2004 and enrolled in Minot State College. Because of family circumstances, she had to drop out after only one semester of her higher education journey and returned to Kenmare, ND, her hometown. As a result, she began work as a paraprofessional and opened the doors of Modern Woodworks alongside her husband.

She would attend another semester through online courses, this time at Dakota College at Bottineau - that was before work and volunteering in the community left her with no choice but to put higher education on hold again. But Harris wanted to return to being a student again, especially because of her desire to learn in her early life.

“I think as a child, education and going to school was always a really big part of my life,” Harris said. “Being in a school setting was always a really safe and encouraging supportive time for me. Just as a child - just embrace being in a school setting. I love learning. I love just growing and finding out more about all the things.”

Harris resumed her educational journey again by enrolling at BSC for classes in the Fall 2020 while still working full-time, being the mother of three kids and remaining involved in her community.

Over the years, she has served in many different roles such as a board member for the Association of Commerce in Kenmare, organizing community events for the country club and volunteering at the local church.

“It wasn’t easy with a full-time job owning a business, trying to be active in the community, trying to participate as much as I could with our family, while also trying to meet some of those other expectations from each one of my professors,” Harris said. “But I, you know, along with all of those challenges, you know, when you reach those goals, and you get through a program, I was able to really appreciate those rewards and those victories.”

Harris is now a graduate of BSC with an associate degree from the administrative assistant program and another from the business administration transfer degree. She is now enrolled at Dickinson State University earning her bachelor’s of business administration.

On Sept. 14, she was voted in to serve as a member of the City of Kenmare’s Council. With all of this on her plate, she attributes her success to her family.

“I hear their excitement in conversation with others that their mom is in college learning, and we joke that I most likely will be taking a course when they pursue higher education,” Harris said. “I hope my kids see with determination, support, and pushing through challenges; they can overcome many obstacles to reach their goals and life passions.

The Mystician

Learn more about and read past publications of "The Mystician," BSC’s student-run newspaper.