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Director Jada Shipp Meeks

Jada graduated from Mitchell High School in Memphis, Tennessee,

Tennessee State University and the University of Memphis. She holds a

Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Master’s Degree and a Doctor of Education

in Instruction Curriculum and Leadership, and she obtained her Education

administration license from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee.

Her research agenda is early intervention for career and college preparation for


She has worked for companies including Tennessee Valley Authority as a

Systems Programmer, Federal Express as a Programmer Analyst and

the Memphis City Schools as a teacher, an Assistant Principal and Principal.

Dr. Meeks conducts motivational workshops to equip people with information

to empower them to make informed decisions about career choices, self-image,

personal finance, college choices, vocational choices, ACT/SAT planning,

Financial Aid planning, and Scholarship Planning.

The Director's Philosophy

All students that want help should be given the support they need to make

wiser choices about their futures. Even if parents have gone to college that

does not necessarily translate into their child going college. Typical of many

students they do not take advice well from their own parents. Many will listen

to friends and others as they make decisions. I have had a great impact on

students in Memphis and Chicago that seek my advice and direction for their

future plans. Students must take ownership of their futures and not operate

from a paradigm of “I’m doing this because my parents or teachers want me to”.

Once students realize that they have the power to control their futures they will

be more motivated to pursue a plan of action for themselves personally. This will

cause students to have higher achievement in school and more service in the

community. All of the projects offered by ESU Scholars require students to do

personal research and action on planning their futures. Each project requires

critical thinking and analysis of their choices as they become an

Empowering Students Universally Scholars student.

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