With a goal of helping people with disabilities, Sunisha Norris is looking forward to the future.
Norris recently graduated from N.C. A&T with a master’s in adult education and certification in community college teaching. She is also the first person in her family to receive degrees. She previously earned a bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in child development and family studies.
During her years at A&T, she was involved with the Student Government Association and was inducted into the Psi Chi International Honor Society, an organization founded with the purpose of “encouraging, stimulating and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology.” While attending graduate school, she was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society, an organization with a diverse group of educators.
In the beginning, her goal was to become a nurse. But that changed after receiving a part-time job working with children with disabilities and their families. She saw some of the problems they faced when it came to finances and cutbacks on services. Through her experiences, she became passionate about advocating for that group of people. One day, her goal is to create an education program for adults facing challenges in rural areas such as Sampson County.
“This is something that I feel that I can bring back to my community,” Norris said. “We have services in Sampson County and the rural areas, but we don’t certain services that get offered in bigger cities.”
She currently resides in Greensboro and works with adults with disabilities at the Autism Society of North Carolina in Greensboro.
“I love it. I get to do a variety of different things,” she said. “I do a variety of life skills with them to help them be successful in society.”
Some of that assistance revolves around helping find jobs, interview techniques, balancing a budget and grocery shopping.
During her time at Lakewood High School, Norris said she had numerous people in the community who played an important role in her education and provided mentorship. At LHS, she was involved in numerous clubs such as Future Business Leaders of America, Future Teachers of America and the Key Club. She said she felt “the sky’s the limit” when it comes to what she can accomplish.
“You can do anything that you want to, regardless of where you’re from,” Norris said. “You can do anything. It’s just going to take hard work and dedication, which I believe is what Lakewood High School taught me.”
Norris is also grateful for her family. Norris is the daughter of Connie and William Parker Jr. of Hope Mills and Earnest Norris of Fayetteville. She is also the granddaughter of Barbra Monk of Salemburg.
“If it wasn’t for my family and their support, I don’t if I would be where I am today,” she said.
Her mother is one of many family members who take pride in Norris’ goals, which include earning her doctorate.
“We’re just really proud of her for what she’s accomplished,” Parker said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.