Brittany Miller

Sturgis senior receives $10,000 Meijer scholarship

Brittany Miller to study graphic design at the Cleveland Institute of Art

Brittany Miller, a 2020 Sturgis graduate, has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship from Meijer Corporation. Miller is in the St. Joseph County Career and Technical Education (CTE) Graphic Design program held at Glen Oaks Community College.

“Brittany is a very talented young lady who has found her passion in life through graphic design,” said Linda Walker, instructor of graphic design. “She’s an incredible artist and designer, most deserving of this scholarship. I’m so thrilled that she is pursuing her dreams with financial support throughout her education at the Cleveland Institute of Art.”

Miller is employed at the Sturgis Meijer store. “I had always contemplated enrolling in a graphic design program in high school, but didn’t pursue it due to lack of confidence and because it was “following” in my sister’s footsteps,” said Miller. “Because of this, as a freshman, I focused more on academics while maintaining my passion for art in my spare time. Fortunately, I excelled in this area, but it was wasn’t what I truly wanted.”

Still set on finding her niche, Miller participated in extracurricular activities including swimming, track and orchestra. Although she gained valuable experiences, she found that even when pursing a different goal, she always ended up coming back to art.

“It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I finally broke out of the spell,” said Miller. “I realized that my passion for art shouldn’t be dictated by fear. This turning point in my life allowed me to try new art related activities that I’ve always wanted to try, but was too insecure to do before. I participated in more art classes and even became a member of the National Art Honor Society.”

At last, she started the Graphic Design course in her senior year – gaining knowledge in Adobe programs and learning to appreciate peer critiques. Being able to use her love for art in a new light was eye opening.

“After attending the class for a few months, I knew it was my calling,” said Miller. “With the skills I’ve learned so far, I was able to apply creativity into the activities I had joined. For instance, I created t-shirt designs for the high school’s musical. I also had the opportunity to create fliers for my positive school Culture club that was promoting a self-defense class. By doing these mini projects, I became aware of why I loved graphic design so much. Helping others through art catered to my selfless nature. That is why in the future, I wish to fulfill my goal of owning a design studio that helps create these visions for others.”

Miller was recently accepted to the Graphic Design program at the Cleveland Institute of Art. “This Ohio-based art school has the tools I need to challenge myself and push me further into the design world,” said Miller. “In order to achieve this goal, I plan to continue working at Meijer just like my mom, sister, and brother have to reach their goals. Overall, being awarded this scholarship is helping me achieve my dream of attending CIA.”

In addition to her Meijer award, Miller will receive a combined sum of awards through the Cleveland Institute of Art totaling close to $30,000, leaving her contribution at a fraction of the entire cost of her education. The Open Door Gallery in Sturgis has also contributed $500 toward her education and an exhibit of her work is slated for summer 2021.

The Fred and Lena Meijer Scholarship is a private scholarship fund established by Fred and Lena Meijer in 1975 for children of Meijer team members and enhanced in 2010 to include Meijer team members. Scholarship awards are determined by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, a non-profit agency that considers (inclusively) academic or technical achievements, financial need, special circumstances, and participation in school and community-based activities/organizations in the selection of scholarship award winners.