Phyllis Harrington believes that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
At 51, this mother of three and grandmother of 10 from Little Rock has completed her dreams of graduating from college.
“You’re never too old to follow your dreams,” she said. “Sometimes people think their ages will stop them from going after their dreams, but you are never too old.”
Harrington will graduate this December with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, but her educational journey is far from over. She is currently taking a preparatory course at the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law to take the LSAT exam and plans to enroll at Bowen in the fall.
“Becoming a lawyer was always a dream of mine,” Harrington said. “This is what I wanted to become as a child. After I graduated from high school, I got married and had a baby. I tried to go back to school multiple times, but it was really difficult with having a family. Now everyone is grown, and God keeps nudging at you to finish your goals.”
The time was finally right for Harrington to become a college graduate, thanks to no small amount of effort on her part. Throughout 2023, Harrington has completed nearly 60 credit hours during the spring, summer, and fall semesters to finish up her bachelor’s degree.
“This year has been extraordinary,” Harrington said. “I have to pinch myself to remind myself that this is actually real. When I’ve attempted college in the past, it was nothing like this. Attending UA Little Rock has been totally different. It was easy for me this year because of my belief and my faith.”
Her college degree is just the latest accomplishment for this career-minded professional.
She currently serves as an associate minister at Faithway Baptist Church in Little Rock while working as a realtor, real estate instructor, and private investigator. Unfortunately, Harrington’s real estate office was destroyed during the tornado that hit Little Rock in March, so rebuilding her real estate office will be another goal for the new year.
On top of all of her professional and educational achievements, Harrington is a founding member of a nonprofit organization, Breath of Silence: Speak Out America, with the goal of stopping sexual abuse.
“We started in 2013 with the goal of stopping sexual abuse to children through awareness and education,” Harrington said. “We offer hope and healing to survivors. With me being a survivor myself, I knew I wanted to do everything I could to prevent this from happening to other children.”