“I believe that it’s important to be involved in my community because I have been blessed with the ability to do so,” says Elizabeth Catherine Miller, a sophomore at Ursuline Academy.

Ursuline’s mission Serviam means “I will serve,” and Miller serves by being active at school and within her community. She has been a student at Ursuline since she was in Pre-K, following the footsteps of her mom, sister and a cousin. Miller has been class representative in the eighth grade, and a class officer in both the ninth and 10th grade. She was appointed to the Student Council Executive Board as the Mission and Heritage Ambassador for the 2014-’15 school year. She has also been a member of the Lionettes dance team, a student ambassador, a member of National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and French Club.

Miller’s most rewarding volunteer experience has been a Miracle League Buddy for The Miracle League of New Orleans. As a buddy, Miller paired up with a special-needs child and helped her play basketball and soccer. Students who volunteer make a commitment for eight weeks at a time.

“From my activism, I’ve gained perspective. I have learned that there’s a world that exists outside of my comfort zone, and everyone isn’t the same,” says Miller. “Everyone has different needs, and being involved in my community has helped me to empathize with people who have different needs than me. “

Helen Miller, Elizabeth Miller’s mom, is a special education teacher at Harahan Elementary who inspired her to become an activist. At a very young age, Helen informed her daughter of the struggles that her students face. Miller was able to empathize with the students even though she cannot fully understand what they’re going through. Seeing her mother teach the students and work with them inspires her to volunteer with special needs children.

Miller is an avid football fan and loves cheering on the Saints and Louisiana State University. After completing high school, she wants to go to LSU to study medicine and become a pediatrician. Once she becomes a pediatrician, she wants to sponsor and work in programs that increase opportunity and acceptance of special needs individuals within the community. She also wants to go on mission trips to provide medical care for individuals in impoverished countries who are unable to receive proper healthcare.