Girl Up speaker and SHS alumna breaks boundaries


Courtesy of Harbeen Kaur

Kaur served both in the army and as a police officer.

Madison McGirr, Business Manager

2015 Solon High School alum and female police officer Harbeen Kaur will come back to SHS to speak in Girl Up’s event on Tuesday, April 25.

After high school, Kaur enlisted in the  United States Army, and left for Basic Combat Training after graduation in Fort Jackson, S.C. Kaur’s now a part of the 307th Medical Brigade out of Columbus, Ohio.

Because of Kaur’s success, Girl Up advisor and English 11 teacher Kelly Fishman invited Kaur to speak for their event. Fishman recalls having Kaur in one of her classes and said Kaur’s interest in becoming a police officer was evident then.

“I think it’s important for all students to see SHS alum being successful after school in a variety of ways,” Fishman said. “It helps students see that their goals are achievable.”

Fishman said she hopes students see Kaur’s perseverance and resilience to use those traits to achieve any goal they have, regardless of race or gender.

“Being an Indian woman, [Kaur] knew that  [becoming a police officer]  would be difficult based on her cultural background and her gender,” Fishman said. “She knew it was wanted she wanted though, and she went after her goal with passionate perseverance. Her choice of the police force is fascinating to me, because I think so many women are discouraged from doing more [traditionally] ‘masculine’ jobs.”

When Kaur first moved to the Solon district in the fifth grade, her father got into a car accident ending in a 27 day coma. This incident first sparked her interest in becoming a Law Enforcement Officer. Because of her father’s health concerns and personal struggles, Kaur developed a negative attitude. It wasn’t until the end of high school when she really started focusing on her career and schoolwork.

“I have worked very hard to become the person I am today,” Kaur said. “It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t impossible either. If a few minutes of my time and my story can empower some young girls [at the Girl Up event] to go after their goals and dreams, I wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to speak.”

Shobitha Sanjeevan, SHS junior and Girl Up co-president,  also agrees Kaur’s journey to achieving her goal is inspirational for young women everywhere.

“Although in 2017 this is starting to look more like a normal trend, it was only in 2008 when the SWAT training program started accepting women,” Sanjeevan said. “There are still major leaps to be taken for society to accept the notion of equality. Ms. Kaur’s legacy is breaking boundaries by defying cultural stereotypes.”

All SHS students  are welcome to  hear Kaur’s success story at Girl Up’s event on Tuesday, Mar. 14 after school in the lecture hall.