In 2009, Nila found a posting for a position with CitySquare AmeriCorps. The position offered a living allowance and funding for her education in exchange for one term of service. Working on her Associate’s Degree and desperately needing a job, Nila applied and was accepted.
She served with an out-of-school time program based in low-income apartment communities throughout the city of Dallas; she provided homework help, enrichment activities and a safe environment for the kids she served. Nila found the position so rewarding that she re-applied to serve a second term. And a third term. And a fourth term.
Her AmeriCorps service complemented her education in ways she hadn’t expected when she first applied. Her time in AmeriCorps also encouraged her to keep going, finishing her associate’s and bachelor’s degree in elementary education, only to go on and earn a master’s degree before starting her doctorate in education.
“The CitySquare AmeriCorps experience molded me to be the best person I could be,” says Nila. “Without that, I couldn’t have achieved what I have with my education.”
Because she was exposed to a part of Dallas that is typically ignored, Miller found her passion as an educator early in her career. Today, in addition to earning her doctorate, she fulfills that passion through her position teaching fifth grade language arts in Dallas. “I want to teach students to believe in themselves and to believe in the power of education, just like AmeriCorps did for me.”