Meeting in Student Council, Nate Keener thought it was just small talk when he started chatting with Alia Adams. Little did they both know that that class and small talk would lead them to marriage and then onto careers together.
Nate graduated from Oasis Academy College Prep with both his High School Diploma and Associates of General Studies in May of 2020. Alia graduated a semester early in December of 2020. The two married in April 2021.
Nate started as an Oasis student in 4th grade while Alia started as a freshman in high school. Both currently work at Oasis as Instructional Aids. “It’s great working with the teachers and staff that we grew up with and have also taught us. It’s a very supportive environment.”
They both cherished the small size of Oasis, with smaller classes and an individualized focus from teachers. Alia describes the experience, “the caring environment and support from the teachers was incredible. The teachers really watch that the students are cared for and safe in school and at home.”
Nate credits cohort coach Christina Miller for his success in the program. “She pretty much willed me through my junior year. Because of her I was set up to succeed in my senior year and be where I am now. I probably wouldn't be in this position without her.” All Oasis students participating in the Jump Start/Dual Enrollment program are assigned a cohort coach. The coach helps guide students through the rigor of college classes and provide additional support.
Alia has immense gratitude for the mentorship and support provided by both Counselor Andy Lenon and Principal Rochelle Tisdale. “Both helped me through a lot during that time of my life. I was in foster care and they ensured I had a safe place to stay and truly cared about my well-being and success. I honestly knew I was loved.”
So what’s next for Nate and Alia? Alia is currently working on the 3+1 Social Work Program through Western Nevada College. She will start her last semester in the program in the fall and plans to eventually be a school social worker. Nate will start at UNR this summer, working towards a degree in Education. He wants to become a math teacher, specifically middle school and/or early high school.
Along with Student Council, where they met, Alia and Nate both played lacrosse for the Bighorns. Nate currently serves as a coach for the lacrosse team as well.
“Oasis literally gave me a ‘jump start’ in life. I graduated from Oasis with confidence in my future, knowing my education was solid. It has also opened many doors for me. Oasis has now graciously accepted my wife and me as part of the staff here.” says Nate.
Alia’s advice for students, “Oasis taught me to advocate for myself, which is something that is so rare and so important to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and realize you are more than just one test score, more than just a name on a roster, and more than just one snap-shot moment in time. You’re strong, capable and truly loved.”