Genius connected to Suffolk

Published 9:46 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

At 18, young woman about to earn doctorate degree

An 18-year-old genius and millionaire has a connection to Suffolk that goes back more than a decade.

Thessalonika Arzu-Embry lived in Suffolk during her formative years, from about age 2 to age 4.


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These days, now a resident of Illinois, she has barely attained legal adulthood and already is prepared to earn her doctorate degree this fall.

She has become a millionaire through a number of bestselling books and speaking engagements, having parlayed her life experience so far into a thriving business.


Arzu-Embry is the daughter of two military parents, who are now retired. Her mother was in the U.S. Navy, while her father was in the U.S. Air Force. They were stationed in the area when she was a small child, resulting in her living in Suffolk for two years.

She started college at 12 years old and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at 14. She went on to obtain a Master of Business Administration degree at age 16 from Regent University in Virginia Beach. She then started her doctorate program.

One of her most successful books details how to compress the process of formal education into months rather than years.

“That book is a huge success,” she said of “Jump the Education Barrier.” “A lot of people were asking questions as to how they could finish college at an accelerated pace.”

Arzu-Embry said the secret lies in demonstrating a mastery of the knowledge.

“Nowadays, there are more opportunities and initiatives to help people finish college, and that’s because there are a lot of working adults who don’t have the time to sit in a classroom,” she said. “If a person can show they have already earned that knowledge elsewhere, then they don’t have to sit in a classroom for four months. It would save them a lot more time, money and energy.”

Arzu-Embry also advised students to be their own academic advisor.

“They should listen to what their advisor has to say, but they need to be deeply involved in that process,” she said.

Following the success of that book, Arzu-Embry wrote another book on how to write and publish a bestseller. She’s also in the process of buying her mother a home and has imparted that wisdom in yet another book about buying real estate.

“There are a lot of things to consider when you’re buying a house besides money,” she said. “They need to do research on the house they’re buying. A person needs to find out if the house is on the right foundation, if the house has any history or background.”

These days, Arzu-Embry is still pursuing her doctorate degree in business psychology while at the same time training to become a private equity investor — a topic on which she’s written yet another book — and a commercial pilot. She has a 4.0 in her doctoral program and also is an Apple and Google app developer.

“No two days are the same,” she said. “I wake up very early, and I go to bed very late.”

Upon waking, Arzu-Embry reads her Bible, prays and exercises. Following that, she writes blogs, prepares speeches for speaking opportunities, works on apps and works on her dissertation, which is on the topic of dreams and how they influence everyday life.
“We tend to overlook components of life in business,” she said. “It all comes together in our dreams. Those influence how we act in the daytime.”

Despite all her academic prowess, Arzu-Embry is quick to point out that there are many different kinds of smarts.

“Being a genius doesn’t have to be limited to academic excellence,” she said. “A person can be a genius in all areas of life. If you spend a lot of time eating healthy foods, I call that a health genius.”

Arzu-Embry says her parents nurtured her genius from a young age.

“I think my parents did a great job in teaching me a lot and making everything a learning experience,” she said. “When we travel somewhere, we learn about that area we’re traveling to. Growing up, they made everything a learning opportunity. I’m appreciative to them for that, and I thank God for that.”

Her mom now helps with her business. She also has one older brother who has a master’s degree and runs part of the business.

Her advice to others is to keep looking up.

“Stay encouraged,” she said. “Keep trusting in the Lord and look for advice and keep going forward.”

Visit her website at