(Meredith) - A New York woman recently graduated from college with honors and will celebrate her 25th birthday in October -- an incredible milestone, especially for someone given only three days to live at birth. 

Nekhidia Harris defied expectations, and now she's motivating others to do the same.

On Wednesday, Harris graduated from Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn with a bachelor's degree in social work. The 24-year-old already runs a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities, WABC-TV reported.

"After the hard work, and sleepless nights... it feels really good that I accomplished my bachelor's in social work," she told the station. "I feel so excellent."

Nekhidia Harris as a baby

When Harris entered this world with multiple health issues, including brittle bones, doctors thought she only had days to live. She kept fighting and underwent multiple surgeries, but nothing broke her spirit.

"No matter what darkness is in a room, she lights up that room," her mother, Dasline Harris, said. 

Nekhidia Harris is now focused on accomplishing another major goal: earning her master's degree from York College. 

She plans to start the program in the fall, continuing her track in social work.

"I like to help people, especially children who don’t have a voice. I love children – they gravitate to me – so I want to help them in every way I can,” she said.

Copyright 2019 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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