A Misericordia University senior health care management major has been awarded one of nine Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) Foundation Commonwealth Good Citizen Scholarships for her commitment to education and to community service.
Johnna Miller of Wapwallopen, will receive her bachelor’s degree in health care management in December and proceed to the doctorate program in physical therapy at Misericordia University, where she also is actively involved in student leadership positions and in the institution’s mission of helping those who are less fortunate.
The AICUP Foundation’s Commonwealth Good Citizen Scholarship is a $1,500 award that is given to students who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to community service. The scholarships are awarded to full-time students enrolled in an undergraduate program at one of AICUP’s 88 member institutions with a GPA of at least 3.0
“This scholarship acknowledges the countless hours these students dedicate to improving not just themselves, but also the lives of those around them,’’ said Don Francis, president of AICUP. “It is with those efforts in mind that we recognize their inspiring commitment to service and academia.’’
Most recently, the daughter of Todd and Lisa Miller participated in the 10th annual service-learning mission trip to Cross Keys, Jamaica from Jan. 2-8. Students, faculty and staff volunteer their time and talent for the betterment of underserved populations in long-term health care facilities, orphanages and schools.
While it was not the first time Miller extended herself for others, the Jamaica mission resonated with her more fully and gave her a deeper understanding of one of her favorite quotes: “Connect the rich to the poor, the healthy to the sick … to do the work of God,’’ by M. Joanna Regan.
“Attending a school such as Misericordia University has given me many opportunities to continue serving others both in my community and a little farther away,’’ Miller wrote in her nomination letter. “I look for ways to get involved. It offers a chance for my generation to get in touch with their community and to help make a difference.’’
Miller’s service in Jamaica became somewhat of a legacy mission trip for Misericordia University, as Miller and her fellow students identified a need and brought that message home for action. Mr. Clark, a veteran of the Jamaica Defence Force, suffered a paralyzing injury some years ago. He inspired MU’s volunteers after they learned he and others with similar injuries do not have access to wheelchairs.
Thanks to the efforts of Miller and her fellow students, the Misericordia University Board of Trustees donated $14,200 in support of shipping eight donated wheelchairs from Pride Mobility in Exeter, to Jamaica so people like Mr. Clark have the ability to be mobile and live life to the fullest extent possible.
At Misericordia University, Miller also has participated in service trips across the country in Rhode Island and in Vermont, and in the local community at The Lands at Hillside Farms, Kingston Twp. She has been a mentor in Girl Power and College Kids for Girls, while being a resident assistant and Sexual Assault Facts and Education peer member on campus.
“My goal in life is to make a difference, hence, my decision to become a physical therapist,’’ said Miller, the president of the Class of 2015. “In the field of physical therapy, I am given the opportunity to provide service to others daily. I have the chance to make someone walk again. To be able to progressively make a difference like that in an individual’s life is amazing.
“I hope to help shape and better my community after graduation. Being a physical therapist is one of the first steps towards doing so. I want to dedicate my life to helping others and I hope to continue the work that I began here at school and take it with me into the real world,’’ she added.