Familiar face radiates authentic positivity

“Get away! Get away!” the man screamed with blood dripping down his head as he lunged at 16-year-old Allie Miller. His knife slashed the air in front of her.

Allie stepped back and reached for her gun, yelling, “Knife! Knife!”

An officer ran from around the corner and hit the attacker in the neck, contacting a pressure point. Unconscious, the man crumpled to the ground.

Thus ended one of the more exciting events Miller experienced as a junior police officer.

Now a John Brown University junior, Miller also works as the assistant residence director of Mayfield and performed in several University events. She has one of the most widely recognized faces on campus.

In her past she has: arrested two people, endured the Coastguard Academy’s summer boot camp, graduated from high school as homecoming queen, dabbled in professional skiing and won Best Actress for her roles in “Steel Magnolias” and “Arsenic and Old Lace” her freshman year of college. Yet, Miller said none of it matters. People, on the other hand, do.

Miller said the children’s book “You Are Special” by Max Lucado defines her view of rewards. In the story, the main character Punchinello struggles to live in a society in which people receive dots for their failures and stars for their achievements.

At the book’s conclusion, Punchinello realizes he does not need to worry about what anyone but God thinks of him and cares neither for the dots nor the stars.

Miller views her achievements in the same light.

“I always feel kind of weird talking about them, because I feel like they can be one of those stars,” Miller said. “They’ve caused hindrances—all of them. Because then they cause you to be too confident and arrogant.”

As a junior in high school, Miller accomplished her dream of taking a place on homecoming court and went on to become homecoming queen her senior year. However, she said she would not do it again.

“If I could have my way in life, I’d like to ban homecoming court,” Miller said.

She said any award fails unless it points to the Lord.

“It’s not about me,” Miller said.

The teenager who once yearned for the recognition of her peers said she now desires to help others see who God created them to be and, as in “You Are Special,” show them just how valued they are.

“I love encouraging people,” Miller said. “I can find a hero in just about everybody.”

Miller said that loving others comes easily to her.

Sophomore Melissa Lloyd said Miller has a gift for making people feel valued.

“She was my RA last year,” Lloyd said. “When I first got here, I was just attacked from behind by this person who wrapped her arms around me. I knew everything was going to be fine because my RA was the coolest person in the world.”

Lloyd cited Miller’s authentic affection for people as one of her strongest qualities.

Sophomore Meredith Sloan lives on Miller’s hall. She appreciates the way Miller intentionally seeks people out.

“She’s taken time to ask me to go to lunch with her,” Sloan said. “It’s not a, ‘hey Allie, can we talk about this.’ She finds me, and I know she does that with a lot of people.”

Miller hopes to channel her love for people by going into education or becoming a child-life specialist to help children with cancer through the treatment process.

“If anything, I hope my life can be an expression of God’s grace,” Miller said. “That would be the cap of my life.”