Throughout her life, Kelsey Miller has learned that life is often a journey in taking what we are given. Her own personal journey has been a series of gifts both planned and unplanned, and she has certainly done everything in her power to make the most of them.
Born to a single mother in college, Kelsey had always been reminded of the importance of education. With strong encouragement from her family, Kelsey pushed herself to take advantage of every opportunity available to her. She began playing the violin at age eight, and with only her own diligent practice and school instruction, she has grown into the ten-year player that she is today, serving as her high school orchestra’s concertmistress for the second year. Given a rent-to-own violin and aspirations of greatness, she took these gifts and cultivated an undoubtedly lifelong appreciation of music. She has taken this appreciationto others, playing in not only concerts, but at weddings, school ceremonies, musicals, and nursing homes.
In the classroom she has distinguished herself as a hardworking and engaged student, ranked at the top of her class. She is an AP Scholar with Distinction and a National Achievement Scholar, and has pursued a wide assortment of Advanced Placement classes supplemented by involvement in her school’s Student Government Association, Invisible Children Club, National Honor Society, and Tri-M Music Honor Society. She has also been able to train middle and high school students across the state in leadership and communication skills through her work with the Maryland and Calvert Associations of Student Councils.
Kelsey eventually sought opportunities to impact not only her own learning, but the learning of others. It is with this attitude that she was elected the Student Member on the Board of Education for her county, representing over 10,000 students. Her two-year long work has opened her eyes to the complex challenges schools face, and the goals they all strive to reach in spite of them. She has spoken at forums focused on youth involvement, including a statewide forum addressing the achievement gap in Maryland public schools. Her interest also led her to a summer internship at the U.S. Department of Education, where she worked to advance the department’s goals for career and technical programs, as well as adult education and English-language learning programs.
As Kelsey prepares to move forward with her education, she remains mindful of and grateful for the gifts of knowledge and opportunity that she has been granted from her family, friends, school, and community. Kelsey has learned that life has much to offer, and with diligence and hard work, the intimidating challenges that face us can fade as we move forward to achieve our goals.