In her short time at UGA, financial planning major Keturah Orji has done some amazing things both in the classroom and on the track and field team, and she has multiple scholar-athlete honors to show for it.
Budd Lake, New Jersey
Mount Olive High School
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
— 2015 Top 10 Caterpillar Scholar Athlete
— Summer 2015 Dean’s List Recipient
— 2015 National Outdoor Field Scholar Athlete of the Year
— 2015 All Academic Individual
— 2015 SEC Academic Honor Roll
— 2015 outdoor NCAA champion in triple jump
— 2015 indoor NCAA runner-up in the triple jump
— 2015 SEC indoor champion in the triple jump
— 2015 SEC outdoor champion in the triple jump
— Bronze medalist at USA Championships
— Indoor triple jump American Junior record holder
— Outdoor triple jump American Junior record holder
— 2015 First Team Outdoor All-American (Long jump)
— 2015 Second Team Indoor All-American (Long jump)
Family Ties to UGA:
I had none coming in, but my teammates feel like part of my family since I spend so much time with them.
I chose to attend UGA because…
… I loved the coaching staff here. The team felt like a big family that I knew I wanted to be a part of and I could thrive in. There’s so much tradition and respect around athletics. I liked the idea of being a part of something bigger and investing my time in that cause.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
I love to eat at Cali N Tito’s. I love Spanish food and the plantain there is always sweet. I also like going to the basketball games with my friends because I grew up watching the NBA constantly and it’s the closest thing to going to a professional game.
When I have free time, I like…
… to hang out in the locker room. It’s nice to be able to take a break and see all my people. The couches in there are also perfect for naps between my classes.
The craziest thing I've done is…
I’d say the craziest thing I’ve done is fly to Donetsk, Ukraine, to compete internationally. I was only 16 and this was the first time I had to fly without my parents. It was great experience with the rest of Team USA to be able to meet and compete against athletes from all over the world. It allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and see a part of the world that is not commonly visited.
My favorite place to study is…
I need to be as relaxed as possible when I study so I usually do all my studying in my bed. When I need to mix things up, I’ll sit in a hammock on North Campus.
My favorite professor is…
… easily my ecology professor, James Porter. He has so much passion for saving the environment and changing the world. His lectures have so much impact that we all clap after every single one.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
I’m very inspired by black history. My biggest role models are Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and, of course, Beyonce. The impact they each had in the world drives me to be the best I can be so that I can have that inspirational effect on people as well.
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
… do something crazy adventurous like cliff diving or bungee jumping. I’ve always wanted to do that but I’m definitely too scared and would bail right before. If I can’t fail I wouldn’t get hurt, right?
If money was not a consideration, I would love to…
… start a foundation to bring kids into the sport of track and field. I think it’s important for kids to be raised around athletics because it builds critical life skills. Not only do you learn values like teamwork, discipline and sacrifice, but you have so much more confidence and a more positive self image. Also there are so many good role models in the world of track and field that everyone could benefit from seeing. I think all kids should be given a chance to experience this character building — especially kids who wouldn’t otherwise have effective role models to look up to.
After graduation, I plan to…
… continue my career in track in some way. Whether that path is going professional or coaching, we will see. I’m so passionate about the sport that I can’t imagine it not being a factor in my future.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
… is being a part of my best friend’s wedding. I had met her and her boyfriend on my visit to this school and now they are married! I loved being a part of such a special experience for her and sharing that with all of our friends too.