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EPISD Student Spotlight: Luke Miller, Coronado High

Luke Miller

(CORONADO HIGH SCHOOL -- Sept. 16, 2021) — Coronado’s Luke Miller, one of EPISD’s five National Merit Semifinalists, is a bit of an overachiever. The three-time Academic letterman scored a near perfect 1570 on the SAT and maintains a GPA in the top 1 percent of his class. Community Engagement sat down with Luke — who along with five of his classmates are the only National Merit Semifinalists in the city — for the next edition of the EPISD Student Spotlight.

EPISD: What are your honors and achievements in high school?

LUKE MILLER: I am a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist, a National Hispanic Recognition Program winner, an AP Scholar with Distinction, a two-time Arthur N. Rupe Scholar, and a four-time medalist in the Region II Academic Decathlon Meet. I have qualified for the Texas Forensic Association State Tournament in Congressional Debate and qualified for the National Speech and Debate Association tournament twice, advancing to elimination rounds in 2020. I am a published author, with a historical analysis published in the Texas Historian.

EPISD: What activities are you involved in at school?

LM: At school, I serve as the president of National Honor Society and as the vice president for the Class of 2022 Executive Committee. I am an active member of Key Club, speech and debate, WeFillintheBlank, Physics Club and track. I have also been involved in basketball, StuCo, and Academic Decathlon. Additionally, I represented our region in the International College Board Youth Advisory Council.

EPISD: What do you look forward to most this school year?

LM: I am looking forward to laughing and learning with my classmates again, in person. I am also looking forward to the spirit events that did not occur last year – the homecoming dance and parade, football, volleyball, and basketball games, and pep rallies. It is just a relief to be surrounded by people again.

EPISD: Tell us about El Paso Youth for Change organization?

LM: El Paso Youth For Change is a youth-led organization that serves the El Paso community by providing resources to disadvantaged demographics or communities throughout the borderland. It was founded by Avery Bloss, Maggy Hayes and I. It has grown from a small group of friends to a membership of nine schools and over 80 members, practically increasing by the day. It has been a very humbling and gratifying experience, and we encourage everyone to donate to our Halloween Drive for the Lee & Beulah Moor Children's Home. Check out @epyouthforchange for more information.

EPISD: Why is it important to you to volunteer and give back to your community?

LM: While students are often worried about our next test or college applications, service provides some perspective on the scope of our issues and our place within our community. In a region with so much need, it is increasingly important to maintain and grow a strong community service presence in El Paso.

EPISD: What advice would you give to freshman?

LM: I would advise them to get involved. School, by itself, can be excruciatingly monotonous, but extracurricular activities are a great avenue to make new friends and develop new skills. I would also advise them to prioritize happiness throughout their high school years. Regarding academic preparation throughout high school, make sure to utilize free resources to prepare for AP exams or standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT.

EPISD: How are you preparing for college?

LM: I am trying to complete all my college applications two weeks before they are due, so I am currently writing essays for specific universities or scholarships. It is very difficult not to procrastinate!

EPISD: Where do you plan to go to college and what do you plan to major in?

LM: While I do not know where I will attend college, my dream schools are Stanford, University of Southern California or the University of Texas at Austin. I plan on majoring in public policy or economics.

EPISD: Anything you’d like to add?

LM: All my accomplishments throughout high school are a direct result of the support of my amazing teachers and brilliant classmates at Coronado and the encouragement of my family. Go T-Birds!

Interview by Reneé de Santos