JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Sade Meeks, a sophomore accounting major, has made a big impact on Jacksonville University in her short
Meeks is a thrower for the track and field team, the treasurer for the Student Government Association, and the president of the accounting club chapter she brought to JU, all while holding an internship at a public accounting firm, Dixon Hughes Goodman.
A native of North Babylon, New York, she brought the National Association of Black Accountants chapter to JU, a big achievement
Even though she always excelled in math, she did not give thought to pursuing a career centered around it. Until 15 years of age, Meeks wanted to be a lawyer.
One day her best friend’s father took her to the public accounting firm where he worked. She fell in love with the scenery of the accountants hurrying around to do their work.
In addition, seeing people that resembled herself helped seal the deal. They were African-American and very outgoing. It was there that she realized that her dreams of being a lawyer had changed to being a tax auditor.
With the fear of not getting enough people to show up, and being unsure if she wanted the responsibility of being the president of a club, Meeks pushed those insecurities to the side. In August, she came to school with the intention of starting a nationally recognized chapter of NABA.
“I saw that the University of North Florida was the only chapter in Jacksonville,” Meeks said. “I thought to myself, there are more schools in Jacksonville than UNF. JU should have a
Filling out the application to receive a charter was a long and hard process, but Meeks never gave up. Just two months after submitting the application, JU’s NABA was approved to be nationally recognized.
“NABA was definitely my biggest achievement this year,” she said.
Dr. Jill D’Aquila, a professor of accounting, has been teaching for 23 years. Twelve of those years she has been at JU. She is very impressed by Meeks and what she has done with her time here at the university.
“One word I would use to describe Sade is a leader,” she said. “The fact that she saw the need for something a little more tailored to certain students, and then started a chapter here says a lot about somebody.”
D’Aquila has taught a lot of students, but Meeks stands out in her mind.
“She stands out as a leader, a conscientious, a go-getter, and someone who is determined,” she said. “She took the time to make NABA happen, given that she does well academically and athletically.”
On March 23, Meeks won the shot put event with a personal best of 14.95 meters. But she was .02 meters short from tying the program’s record of 14.97 meters that was set back in 2011.
Chip Brundage, assistant coach for the track and field team, is in his fourth year at JU and his eighteenth year overall. He reflects on Meeks’s work ethic the week after she came up short.
“I gave her the plan that would help her succeed,” he said. “Throughout practice, she just kept executing the plan.”
One week later, Meeks broke the program’s shot put record with 15.11 meters and placed seventh overall in the event.
Brundage admires Meeks’ work ethic on the field.
“She has a different drive than most people,” he said. “She understands that anything is possible.”
Brundage also admires her work ethic off
“She can adapt and overcome any obstacle that comes upon her,” he said. “I know that she’s going to evolve into a powerful, independent woman when she leaves JU.”