Student’s drive, commitment leads to President’s Scholarship

By on June 7, 2014
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MAPLE PARK—Carissa Miller is all about business. And heart.

Miller, a Maple Park resident and Kaneland High School senior, will major in business administration when she attends Indiana State University this fall.

Miller is one of 20 selected students across America to achieve the ISU President’s Scholarship, and one of two Kaneland High School students to earn the achievement.

Being a President’s Scholar means that if Miller keeps up good grades, she will get free tuition and premium housing at ISU, from freshman to senior year.

“It’s nice to see it pay off, because I’ve always been super-excited for college, too,” Miller said. “And I’ve been working two years now saving up for college. So it’s nice to know that I can pretty much do it on my own.”

Miller has made numerous accomplishments during her high school career. She has a 4.0 GPA, and has been a member of Kaneland’s National Honor Society her junior and senior years.

She also sings alto and performs in the school’s Madrigals chamber choir. She calls herself a “huge music nerd,” adding that she has done choir since the sixth grade. Miller last winter played the role of a queen during the Madrigal feaste event.

Miller has lent a helping hand by doing community service, such as volunteering at Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva. She made care packages for babies, including small blankets, bottles and wipes. She also participated in student council and helped with the grocery food drop. Miller made requests to shoppers to pick up a couple of needed supplies like non-perishable items, deodorant and toothpaste for the military overseas.

Miller has a reason why she stays motivated.

“I’ve always been motivated by trying to be independent, I think,” Miller said. “Also, I like helping others. So that’s with the community service thing. That’s why I like to be like a leader in my student council and stuff like that. It’s because I get the duty to help others.”

Miller plans to have a career as a manager after finishing college. During college she plans to try out for choirs and volunteer as an ISU recruiter and at an animal shelter. She even hopes to possibly study overseas in Ireland.

Her dad, Scott Miller, chuckled as he thought about what makes his daughter special.

“She’s got a big heart to go with her intelligence,” he said.

Christina Staker, an English teacher at Kaneland High School, recalled Carissa going the extra mile in her yearbook class when she gave a PowerPoint presentation about why the yearbook should go along with her “unleashed” theme.

“She definitely has the leadership roles to become a CEO one day,” Staker said. “Or really be in charge of a mass group of people and make sure that good work comes out of whatever it is that they are creating.”

Photo by Patti Wilk