It may be hard to believe that this once shy young woman dealt with mental issues, bullying, and stopped going to school for almost two years, but it’s true. The now confident Harleigh quickly explains,
“I got here in 8th grade. I stopped going to school for a couple of years in the 7th grade. We moved here, and I tested, and they put me in the 8th grade. That’s when I took general music, did a few songs, and thought, ‘Ohhh, I really like this.’ I auditioned at end of 8th grade to join QHS Chorus. Chorus brought me out of my comfort zone. It helps me with my anxiety. It’s something I love. It’s comforting and something I know. Theatre is, also. Theatre will put you out there. It’s very intense. Because I was so shy, no-one would have ever thought I would do that.”
“First month of class I never said a word, but you can’t stand on stage next to people like Charity Lynch, Bea Shiferaw, Allie Satcher, and Shaelynn Smith around you and stay quiet.”
Harleigh and her classmates will be taking “The Prom Squad’s” skit and characters developed in last year’s theater class on the road to competition this year. Fans will surely be traveling to watch it, and Harleigh must know that much of how she will be remembered at Quitman High School is as someone who stood on stage and made us laugh with her.
But how does she want to be remembered? We, of course, ask.
And she answers,
“As the person who made people smile and made them feel good about themselves. Kindness doesn’t cost anything.”
When asked for advice, the aspiring teacher replies,
“Don’t be afraid to just be yourself. Try different things. Always know that your teachers are there to help you for sure. I was always scared to ask a question, but you shouldn’t be.”