RachelThe Gabe W. Miller Memorial Foundation awarded its 10th Gabe Miller Scholarship to Rachael Dietkus-Miller, a first year MSW student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The University matched the Gabe Miller Scholarship.

Mrs. Dietkus-Miller received her bachelor's in sociology, with an emphasis in social movements and their organizations, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000. As an undergraduate and since, she has demonstrated her strong commitment to social change by her volunteer and paid positions.

She has grown from a volunteer to an executive along the following path: AmeriCorps volunteer; Program Director - Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; Program Director, Director of Development and Associate Director - YWCA of the University of Illinois; Executive Director - Downtown Danville, Inc; and Advocacy Manager of the YWCAs statewide.

Mrs. Dietkus-Miller was a Fellow of the World YWCA and Delegate to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights & Human Rights Council in 2006. There were only two women nominated by the YWCA USA.

She has authored and presented to the American Sociological Association "Working from the Bottom UP: Grassroots Organizing and the Dichotomy Between Activist Lawyering" and "Orderly Social Progress and Racial Measures: The ACLU and the Fight for Individual Rights Over Personal Safety and Freedom."

And she has participated, chaired and led many organizations and panels, too numerous to list here, but by way of example: President, currently, and member - UIUC Graduate Social Work Association; President, currently, and member - Champaign County ACLU; and '04-'06 Commissioner - City of Urbana Human Relations Commission.

Mrs. Dietkus-Miller was also awarded the IVI-IPO Harold Washington Award in 2003; the Verdell Frazier-Young Award '98-'00; and the Gloria Steinem Award in 1999.

Ms. Dietkus-Miller attended Northwestern University School of Law's First Annual Conference on Wrongful Conviction and the Death Penalty, as did Gabe. Both their senses of social justice were spiked by that experience. There were very few younger persons in attendance, but, unfortunately, she does not remember Gabe from that event.

All of the Foundation' scholarships are need-based. Mrs. Dietkus-Miller's situation highlights just how important the Foundation's scholarships and the universities' matches are to the graduate students. Without divulging personal finances, suffice to say that the Gabe Miller Scholar has what could only be called a crushing student debt load from undergraduate days, Mrs. Dietkus-Miller has cut back about one-half on her primary job (and its income) to have the time and energy to excel in her MSW program and still holds two jobs - 20 hours per week at the YWCA and 10 hours per week at the Women's Resources Center (an assistantship). Her husband is a professional nurse, having gained his experience as a medic in Iraq.

Update 2012: Rachael was identified as one of the "40 Under 40" community leaders by Central Illinois Business Magazine, in part for her co-founding the "CUBD (Champaign-Urbana Design Organization) Gives: Project Non-profit Makeover" program and her service on the CUBD Board and to United Way's Community Leaders Program. She is currently a Licensed Social Worker for the VA, having started as a Patient Advocate and now as Administrative Officer-Engineering Services. Rachael and her husband are the proud parents of Vivian, born a year ago this last September.

Rachael Dietkus-Miller is doing her best. The Foundation is proud to be of help to her.

For further information, please contact The Foundation.

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1st Gabe Miller ScholarTrish Snell, M.S.W., University of Denver, 2006; Ph.D., Notre Dame University
2nd Gabe Miller ScholarDawn Davis, Illinois State University
3rd Gabe Miller ScholarLauren White, Illinois State University
4th Gabe Miller ScholarCheryl Lockett, Illinois State University
5th Gabe Miller ScholarShani L. Trapp, University of Illinois
6th Gabe Miller ScholarChristopher S. Perri, Loyola University Chicago (LUC)
7th Gabe Miller ScholarCarlos F. Moran, University of Southern California (USC)
8th Gabe Miller ScholarAudrey L. Tousant, University of Southern California (USC)
9th Gabe Miller ScholarThomas J. Malczyk, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UI)
10th Gabe Miller ScholarRachael Dietkus-Miller, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UI)
11th Gabe Miller ScholarStephanie D. Moss, University of Southern California (USC)
12th Gabe Miller ScholarAnanda Leinartas, Jane Addams College of Social Work of the University of Illinois, Chicago
13th Gabe Miller ScholarZuleika Andrade, University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work
14th Gabe Miller ScholarKristopher Koester, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) School of Social Work
15th Gabe Miller ScholarWhitney Welsh, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) School of Social Work
16th Gabe Miller ScholarJana Hernandez, Loyola University Chicago
17th Gabe Miller ScholarLauren Higbee, University of Illinois Chicago / Jane Addams Colllege of Social Work
18th Gabe Miller ScholarLauren Belding, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work
19th Gabe Miller ScholarJennifer Copeland, Loyola University, Chicago
20th Gabe Miller ScholarJenny Vu, University of Southern California
21st Gabe Miller ScholarAlison Lehner, Loyola University, Chicago
22nd Gabe Miller ScholarAnnie Azriel, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work
23rd Gabe Miller ScholarDanielle Perry, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) School of Social Work
24th Gabe Miller ScholarRaji Shivshanker, University of Southern California
25th Gabe Miller ScholarLynette De Dios, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work
26th Gabe Miller ScholarNakisa Choupani, University of Southern California
27th Gabe Miller ScholarSarah Mesick, Loyola University, Chicago
28th Gabe Miller ScholarAshley N. Grabb, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
29th Gabe Miller ScholarIvan Gonzalez, University of Southern California
30th Gabe Miller ScholarTiara Smith, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work
31st Gabe Miller ScholarCandyss Newman, Loyola University, Chicago
32nd Gabe Miller ScholarMelissa Farmer, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign