Adia Threatt, a freshman accounting major and supply chain management minor born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, graduated from Kadena High School on the Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. Growing up in a military family has exposed her to new cultures and new experiences. Her empathetic nature inspired her to work with other young daughters of military families, addressing both the victories and hardships that they may face. Adia has a strong passion for serving others and aims to have a positive impact on their lives through mentoring and friendship.
Question: Tell me more about the mentoring you did with the young girls? How has that impacted your life?
Answer: The summer right before I moved to Okinawa, I was given the opportunity to be a mentor at this summer camp called Outdoor Odyssey. It’s supported by the Semper Fi Fund, which supports and gives aid to wounded warriors. All of the girls who were there, one of their parents had been traumatized, killed, or injured while in combat or overseas. We were each assigned one younger girl. We were their mentors for the week; we were their best friends. We took them to all of their activities. We encouraged them to talk about things –– to let them know that we’re here, that we can talk about it, that we can relate to them in this sense.
We went through the week doing trust activities, open activities. We had cabins but we only slept in the cabins two nights out of the entire week. There was a lot of bonding outside of our tents. It was just trying to give them another person to be there for them and to give them a break from some of the detrimental things going on at home.
The girls ranged from ages 7-12. My girl, Carley, was 10 or 11. I was 15, almost 16, when we met. We still talk every now and then on Facebook.
You sign up for it thinking, ‘Oh, community hours. I’ll get to go and spend time in the outdoors.’ Whenever you actually get there, and meet the girls and hear their stories, you just think, ‘We all have our hardships, but we could have it so much worse.’ It was extremely touching, and it was awesome to know that all of these girls did look up to us.
It made me want to continue to be a mentor, not only for Carley, but anyone else. I want to let people know that I can be there for them.
Question: How is your first semester going?
Answer: So far so good. A lot of people have their different opinions about college. I don’t really think it’s harder than previous education if you go to class and get all of your work done on time and have time management. I’ve met a ton of great people.
I’m in Leadership Walton and in the Path Program. I’m soon to be initiated into my sorority, Phi Mu. I’m getting pretty involved and meeting a lot of good people and trying to volunteer and be in everyone’s good graces.
Question: Was the transition from Okinawa to Arkansas difficult?
Answer: I can remember before I moved away from Arkansas, I would say to myself, ‘Man, I want to get out of here. I want something new.’ And so I got it. Then when I was in Okinawa, I was seeing all of the stuff from my people in high school and my friends who were starting college, and I would say, ‘Man, I would give anything to go back home.’ When I was in Okinawa, I missed my mom’s side of the family, my friends back home, and even driving on the right side of the road. Now that I’m back home I’m definitely enjoying myself because I am on my own. Of course I miss Okinawa and the culture and a lot of diversity – many different aspects, not just racial or cultural. There were so many different flavors and the food was always fresh. I really miss the sushi! There was also the custom of taking off your shoes inside. It was considered rude not to, so I’m still mindful of that.
I miss my parents and little brother as well. I probably could have arranged to go [to Okinawa] for Christmas break, but I chose not to because I haven’t seen my family in this area for Christmas for the past two years. My family is actually moving back to the States next summer, so it would be pointless for me to go then. So I probably won’t be going back, sadly.
Question: Why did you choose to join the Path Program? What do you see as the overall benefit from joining?
Answer: After not getting accepted into the Honors College, I was kind of upset, but obviously I knew why, because my scores weren’t high enough. When I had the opportunity to join the Path Program, I saw it as a way to enhance my chances of getting into the Honors College because it would give me that extra boost. Plus, I would get the extra support of a mentor group and other people in the same boat so we could lift each other up and push each other to reach our goals. I thought that was awesome, so I immediately went and applied for it. I think it will benefit me because I do see myself getting into the Honors College. Having the Path Program behind me is an extra reminder that if I don’t reach this, it’s on me. It holds me accountable.