Jada Linton: A history maker who made the most of her time at UK

Wes Taylor and Jada Linton were crowned homecoming King and Queen during the game against at Missouri Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky. on Saturday, October 7, 2017. Photo by Josh Mott | Staff

Hayden Gooding

Jada Linton began her journey at UK four years ago. Coming in her freshman year, she wasn’t quite sure about her major, but knew she wanted to make good grades and make the most of her time here at UK.

What Linton didn’t know was that by the time she graduated, she would be National Pan-Hellenic President, a Resident Adviser for three years and a maker of school history.

Last fall, Linton became the first black woman to be UK homecoming queen.

Going back to her homecoming experience, Linton described the entire process of being nominated, and winning, as a surreal moment.

“I could tell that there was a lot of positive changes coming after that happened. In my life, at UK and for people as a whole,” Linton said. “I feel like I was happy to be that role model for young women, for young black women, for anyone who felt like they might not have been able to be in that position. I feel like I was really blessed to be that role model to them.”

At the time she was nominated for homecoming court, she had already set some personal goals for herself. Linton is a dietetics major and said that one of her goals is to complete her internship, which she is working on right now, and to graduate this May. She is also in the process of preparing for the registered dietitian exam that she will be taking soon.

“Whatever God’s plans are for me that’s where I’ll go,” Linton said. “I’m not set on being in one location it’s just, I hope to be where I need to be.”

Linton, originally born in Chicago, has always moved around a lot because of her father’s job. She said the opportunity to live in so many different areas has been great. Her final stop before moving to UK was Marietta, Georgia.

Linton has three sisters and said she has always been super close to her family.

“Our family dynamic is wonderful because we can talk about anything and they always give me the best advice no matter what the situation,” Linton said. “It’s just amazing to have that support.”

Not only did Linton have the love and support from her family, but she also found a lot of her support and encouragement from her sorority sisters. Linton is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and said that her sorority sisters have had a major impact on her life throughout her years at UK.

Both her family and sorority sisters were excited when she was nominated for homecoming court, and once she was crowned queen they were all there to celebrate with her.

“I was there with my cousin, we were crying, we were hugging because it felt like it was more than just a win for her,” said Linton’s younger sister Jordan Linton. “It felt like it was a win for all black women, for all black people at UK because sometimes you aren’t recognized in the grand scheme of things.”

Jordan said that her sister has always been her rock, and describes Jada as confident and outgoing. She said that when she is around her sister, she becomes an outgoing and exciting person who wants to try new things, and that she has always encouraged her to get out of her shell.

“She’s influenced me by just always showing so much presence,” Jordan said. “And consistency can really have a positive influence on you. I talk to her every single day no matter where she is in the world.”

Jada said that one of the challenges she has faced during her college experience is taking on more than she can handle.

“I was very involved during my time at UK and I wouldn’t change that for the world because I met so many different people and I made great connections, and I really had the chance to build that community that I wanted when I went to college,” Jada said. “And I think that was a big growth point of being able to prioritize my time and manage the different projects that I take on. I think that was probably the biggest thing I’ve had to deal with during college.”

Jada explained that everyone should take a deep breath when faced with adversity and think about the things that can be controlled. She emphasized how important it is important to maintain a positive mindset.

“That’s what really got me through a lot of things that I was not in control of because if something is out of your control, there’s really nothing you can do about it, except how you react to it,” Jada said.

She said this is one of the most important skills someone can have to be able to adapt to different situations and show emotional intelligence.

During her time at UK, Jada has achieved many things. In addition to becoming the first black UK homecoming queen, one of the things she is most proud of is getting into her program, which has allowed her to get her internship and work toward becoming a registered dietitian. Some of her other accomplishments include being president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and an RA for three years.

“I’ve grown so much at UK,” Jada said. “And if it weren’t for everyone that I’ve met at UK I would not be where I am today, and I’m just so thankful for that.”