Kaziah Miller was researching potential colleges when UNCG got her attention.

“I saw that slogan, ‘Do something bigger altogether,’ and it made me curious,” she says. “I thought, ‘Let’s see what this means.’ ”

Kaziah, now a junior Nursing major, has lived up to that motto. Not only is she a UNCG Guarantee Scholar, she is a Gates Millennium Scholar and a Golden LEAF Scholar. And yesterday she received UNCG’s MLK Service Award and shared a meal with Sonia Sanchez, a civil rights icon and keynote speaker for the UNCG-NC A&T MLK celebration.

Kaziah, a first-generation college student, plans to become a pediatric nurse when she graduates in May 2016. She has made service a priority — and helping children in need has become her mission.

She raised money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, located in Memphis, for her senior project at East Rutherford High School in Forest City.

“It hurts me to see sick children in the condition they are in,” she says. “I started learning about St. Jude’s, and how the kids who go there never receive a bill. I wondered, ‘How do they keep this business going?’ ”

Last summer, Kaziah organized a larger-scale fundraiser for St. Jude’s back home in Rutherford County. For $1 per ticket, people could enjoy a basketball game as well as contests for dunks, free throws and three-point shots.

“I didn’t know how much I could do as just one individual, but the gym was packed,” she says. She raised more than $630 for St. Jude’s.

Through Golden LEAF, dedicated to improving health care in rural areas of North Carolina, Kaziah has completed paid summer internships at Rutherford Children’s Care and the Rutherford County Health Department. She hopes to secure a seven-week “externship” with Cone Health this summer.

As a UNCG Guarantee Scholar, Kaziah traveled to Mexico last summer. She was amazed at the low cost for the trip, only about $300. “That was a blessing,” she says.

Kaziah, 20, spent part of the Mexico trip working with needy kids at a daycare facility. And she visited one of the worlds’ tallest pyramids.

The trip, her first outside the U.S., was eye-opening, she says. It taught her to question stereotypes and not make assumptions.

“The most important thing I got out of that trip is not to be judgmental,” she says. “These people are trying to build a better life for their families. They get  out there and do jobs we don’t want to do. Everything opened my eyes up.”

 Story by Michelle Hines, University Relations

 Photo courtesy Kaziah Miller