Samohi junior Josh Miller has won the Princeton Prize in Race Relations award, given to high school students for their work in promoting cooperation between races.
The Mirror asked Miller several questions about the award and what motivated him to become involved in race relations.
Mirror: Why did you get involved in the Resilient Youth Foundation?
Miller: I created the Resilient Youth Foundation because I decided it was important to me to fight for equal educations and opportunities for all students, from all backgrounds. This cause became important to me after my time at University Elementary School (UES) and Lincoln Middle School. UES was a lab school which tries to have its student population mirror that of Los Angeles. As a result, the school is incredibly diverse racially and economically. After spending three wonderful years at Lincoln, surrounded by immense wealth, opportunities and privilege, I realized that I was blessed to be in such an opportune situation, and that it was my duty to do my part to ensure that all students have the same shot at success. It was the contrast of environments between the two schools that made me socially and racially aware.
I was motivated to direct and produce the documentary Tracking to Nowhere (trackingnowhere.com) by the death of my baseball teammate and good friend, Eddie Lopez. Prior to his death, Eddie and I frequently discussed the state of minorities at SAMO, especially in regard to AP/Honors classes. He was an Honors/AP student, and was angered by the small minority representation in his classes. His death inspired and motivated me to take a stand.
What do you hope to achieve by your involvement in the foundation?
I hope to provide students all across Los Angeles with some of the opportunities and benefits I have been blessed with. I also hope to motivate students to succeed and excel in school and in life.
What does this award mean to you?
It is a honor to receive the Princeton Prize as recognition of my efforts, but more importantly, I hope it brings visibility to our efforts and causes, and motivates other students and individuals to stand up and fight for what they believe in.
Miller is dedicating his Princeton Prize to Lopez. On June 7, there will be a Pier Night Event, at which time the Resilient Youth Foundation will be establishing the Eddie Lopez Scholarship Fund.
For more information on the Resilient Youth Foundation, go to resilientyouth.org.