‘Boston student-athlete thrives after early turmoil’

Boston Globe

July 15th, 2014 by 

Yonetta Harris
Yonetta Harris at her June 13 graduation from O’Bryant High School. Image by Essdras Suarez

Attacked by her father when still in the womb, Yonetta Harris, a member of the College of the Holy Cross class of 2018, has built a life that touches many. In an in-depth interview with the Boston Globe, Harris and her mother, Yolanda, talk about the attack and how Yonetta overcame domestic violence to become a three-sport athlete and graduate from O’Bryant High School in June.

According to the Globe: “Born Oct. 5, 1995, with her father already in jail, she “[Yonetta] recalls a day a little over five years ago when she came home to find her mother crying at the kitchen table. It was March 12, 2009, exactly 14 years after the stabbing. ‘And my mom’s like, ‘I am just glad we are alive,’ recalled Harris, who knew virtually nothing about her dad. ‘And I said, ‘What do you mean, what do you mean?'”

When she learned of the attack years later, the disclosure left Yonetta “crying, saddened, stunned about what her mother and siblings told her about what her father had done. It wasn’t until her father became ill late in his life, with cirrhosis of the liver, that Yonetta drew closer to him, during his stay at a Hyde Park rehabilitation facility.” He passed away last year.

“I thought about that a lot, when I was younger,’’ she said, asked to ponder how her father’s attack long ago could have ended differently, more tragically. “But as I got older, it’s like, why think about what could have happened when you can make a difference now?’’

This “Holy Cross in the News” item by Cristal Steuer.  

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