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Dr. Bernard Harris made history not so long ago as the first African American to walk in space… and he’s getting props for it this week.

“He is being honored at FBI headquarters in Washington with the Director’s 2010 Community Leadership Award for his nonprofit foundation’s education and crime prevention programs for Houston-area students.

Even with his illustrious career as a physician, an astronaut and a businessman, Harris said in an interview that he considers starting the Harris Foundation his biggest accomplishment.

“I see the foundation as the greatest investment I can not only make for myself but for my community and the country,” said the 54-year-old Texan whose long list of “firsts” includes participating in the first joint Russian-American space flight. “My goal is to enable our youth to do and become whatever they want in life.”

The Harris Foundation has undertaken numerous community projects, including Dare to Dream, a crime prevention program that partners with local organizations and the FBI. Through Dare to Dream, the Houston division of the FBI provides special agent speakers that meet with at-risk students at schools in the Houston area. On Wednesday, for example, the FBI’s Evidence Response Team provided a hands-on forensic science workshop to over 100 students from five area schools.

Harris, whose life has had its share of difficult choices, says his work with young Houstonians is focused on “helping them make the right choices” in life.

“Growing up as a minority in this country, when I was thinking about becoming an astronaut and a physician, the world around me didn’t support that,” said Harris.

“Everyone is born in this world with the ability to do whatever they desire to do. We hope to encourage the idea that if you listen to yourself, it will lead you to what you want to do in life.”

EFF a thug for real… Y’all knuckleheads need to listen to Dr. Bernard.



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