On October 7, 2005, Alan Miller, President, of The Gabe W. Miller Memorial Foundation presented the second Gabe W. Miller Scholarship to Dawn Davis, a first year MSW student at Illinois State University.

Alan traveled to the School Of Social Work’s reception honoring the incoming Dean of the School Of Social Work, Dr. Wanda Bracy, and the 25th year of accreditation of its program, to present the award. 

A 1995 graduate of Monmouth College, Dawn majored in government and communications and theater arts.  After college, she worked for the Sojourn Center and Services in Springfield as a primary advocate counseling and educating adult and child clients regarding domestic violence.  In that position, Dawn also oversaw shelter operations, maintained client records and manned the hotline.  She then moved on to the Department Of Children And Family Services where she served as a Preparing For Adult Life Transitional Case Manager for youth coming out of foster care into independent living.  This position included community advocacy, program budget, statistics and inter-agency cooperative marketing responsibilities.  After that, Dawn volunteered as Volunteer Coordinator for two years with The Phoenix Center in Springfield, providing life skills training and individual support and HIV/AIDS education and testing referrals to youth with other than - traditional sexual orientations.

Dawn’s background in social services delivery was to some of the same disabled, disadvantaged and dispirited populations that Gabe had served and demonstrates a similar – to - Gabe’s commitment to social justice and to helping others. 

In his presentation, Alan spoke of Gabe’s “calling,” described in Gabe’s own words as part of a class assignment just about one year ago:

I ended up going to Samaritan House about 6 times. Let it be known that I really didn’t enjoy going there. However, after each time I went I was happy I did go and I felt good about what I had done.  Knowing that I provided a needed service that made someone’s life a little easier is pretty much what I strive for.  I understand that a monkey could probably serve food just as well as I could, but I doubt the monkey would have felt as good about what he had done as I did. 

In my life I try to do what I can to make peoples’ struggles a little easier.  Usually these are small things, that don’t give me a lot of recognition.  I am not looking for recognition.  Just a small thank you.  

I have been trying to get others to believe in a sense of com- munity.  The idea that we all support one another and do what we can to take some of life’s burdens away.  I have noticed that this can be a hard thing to model for others.  When all you do are these small things for others, often times they are overlooked.  But, again, I am not looking for any recognition.  I am, however, hoping that others will see my actions and decide that the helping life attempt to live is the same kind of life that they would like for themselves.”

Dawn’s scholarship will help defray some of her costs of preparing for a career of taking away some of other persons’ life burdens, feeling satisfied in doing so and being a role model unto others to do likewise.  The same career that Gabe would have enjoyed.

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