From the military to O’Neill, Faith Odiete is continuing her father’s legacy of public service.


Faith Odiete knew she was going to continue her father’s legacy.

She grew up in Nigeria and often accompanied her father, a member of the Nigerian Police Force, on his patrols. He showed her that the field of law enforcement was not just limited to men.

After her father died in the line of duty, she was raised by her single mother, who brought her to the United States in 2017. Odiete knew that she wanted to dedicate her life to public service to honor her father.

“My Nigerian background makes me appreciate the opportunities that come my way. I try to take advantage of every opportunity because knowledge is never wasted,” Odiete said.

At just 17 years old, she became the first person from her family to join the U.S. military.

There, Odiete met Staff Sgt. Jessica Palsis, who guided Odiete through the many struggles that she faced once she was in the military.

“She made me confident enough to pursue my dreams," Odiete said. "She made me see that the only limitation is what I'm imposing on myself.”

After becoming a Chancellor’s Scholar in the Honors College, Odiete found the financial and academic resources to help her continue her father’s legacy.

“Being a Chancellor’s Scholar has given me the confidence to push for higher education,” Odiete said.

Beyond the classroom, the Honors College connected Odiete to leadership and volunteer opportunities that allowed her to further explore the world of criminal justice.

Through my Honors contract, I've been able to visit the FBI office, visit the women’s prison, and interview women that work in corrections.