In the midst of another successful academic year, current Oak Ridge Military cadets are being transformed into tomorrow’s leaders around the world at Fortune 500 companies, top colleges and universities, the armed services, and many other prestigious organizations thanks to their unique, life-changing journey at ORMA. Here’s a snapshot of one outstanding cadet from the class of 2018:


Reason You Came to ORMA: “I came to Oak Ridge because of poor academic performance and hanging around the wrong people. I was 13 years old at the time and needed a change.”

First Impression of ORMA: “As soon as I entered the academic building for the first time, a supervising staff member picked up all of my bags by himself. He looked very strong and confident. I told myself I better behave.”

Challenging ORMA Experience: “My aunt and uncle didn’t tell me about the haircut. After it was over, I went back to my room, looked in the mirror, and saw tears coming down my face.”

Your Transformational ORMA Moment: “I still have my recruit packet, even though it represents a tough time from years ago. The training was difficult, I was dealing with a language barrier, and it took what seemed like a long time to memorize the packet. But I actually did it in two weeks, just like everybody else. I got a lot of support from the faculty and staff, who made me feel like I belong. They were trying to help get me squared away. They expected excellence out of me.”

Most Impactful ORMA Mentor: Major McKaughan. He really encouraged me and made me feel like I belonged early in the process.

ORMA Impact: “Self-confidence and self-respect. I learned to respect myself and value myself. I had to work hard to overcome the language barrier, but I appreciate the teachers who helped me through the process. I now pass down the tradition of giving people who need it extra help. Coming to Oak Ridge is the best decision I’ve made in my life. Now, because of this school, I have my sights raised higher. Everything we do here is to prepare us for college. It’s a very diverse school, with students from Africa, the Caribbean, and all around the world. I have learned to respect other religions and cultures. We don’t always agree, but we respect each other.”

Advice for New ORMA Students: “Be positive. Whatever you’re being told to do, do it. There is a reason for it.”

Post-ORMA Plans: I want to go to a business school and be a businessman back in China, my homeland. Leadership is very important in business, as is dealing with lots of different people. Oak Ridge has given me the chance to prove myself and taught me my value in life. I can make the world a better place.”


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