Maggie Miller doesn’t know her name, but she’ll always remember her.
During Miller’s darkest day, she got a boost from a nurse at Penn Presbyterian Hospital after her dad, Officer Edward Miller, was shot three times in the line of duty.
Now a senior at Nazareth Academy High School, Miller never forgot that, and she wants to do the same for people. She wants to be there when people need a hand.
“I always wanted to be a cop,” Miller said. “But my dad was shot in 2016 on duty. When we went to the hospital, we went to see him. I saw the blood on his wound and how gruesome, it drew my attention and I paid attention to my dad and the nurse, how she helped him, the bandages, and watching her work was great. He’s doing fine, he’s great. He got promoted to be a detective.
“I was so nervous, but she took great care of him and she would talk to me, tell me what they were doing. She was just making us all feel better. I never forgot that and after that, I decided I wanted to be a nurse.”
Miller has a future all planned out, but her present is pretty awesome, too.
Miller is a two-sport star at Nazareth, playing soccer and lacrosse. She’s always on the move, running from one sport to another, and when she’s playing, there are few who are more active than the Winchester Park native.
In lacrosse, she’s a midfielder by trade, which is perfect for her because she likes to do a little bit of everything. That means a lot of running, which is also fine with her.
“I’ve played every position, but I’m best at midfield and I love running, I’m a really hyper-energetic person,” Miller said. “I’ve played everything. Defense, offense, I played goalie. I’m not good at that. We won, but I thought I played horrible. But I love playing anywhere, and midfield is perfect for that because you get to do everything.
“I love it because I get to go offense and defense and help team on both. I’m better on the outside because I can one-hand it and catch it. I’ll do whatever we need, wherever I can help, I want to be.”
She’s the same way in soccer.
“I didn’t start playing lacrosse until third grade or fourth grade. I was playing softball and I wanted to try it. I loved it. Soccer? I’ve played that since I could walk. I’ve always loved soccer. I played that for as long as I can remember. And I play midfield there, too. I just like running around and doing whatever I can do.”
She won’t be the first in her family to play college sports. That would be mom Officer Kimberly Zerah-Miller, who played Division I field hockey and softball at Temple.
“My mom went to St. Hubert, she’s the best role model for me, she’ll always be my role model, she cares about everyone before herself,” Miller said. “She taught me to put others before myself. She’s a very good and strong woman. She’s a police officer, too.”
That attitude has certainly rubbed off on her daughter. And she’s following in mom’s footsteps next year in terms of being a two-sport athlete. She’ll still be doing a lot of running.
Next year Miller will play both sports at Neumann University. She committed during her junior year and for her, it was the perfect place.
“I love it because it’s close to home, but I can still live on campus,” Miller said. “It’s a great school, I get to play both lacrosse and soccer, I didn’t have to pick one, and it has a great nursing program. So it had everything I was looking for.”
It sounds like an aggressive schedule, but Miller is prepared.
After all, she’s had quite the schedule during her high school days. Playing two sports doesn’t seem like it would give you a lot of time for other activities, but somehow Miller found time to do a few others.
She was involved in Student Council, Naz-A-Thon Committee, open house representative, Athletes Helping Athletes, Panda Pals, Dance Club, Irish Panda Club, Cancer Awareness Club, Kindness Club, Panda Stand Up, Ping Pong Club, Paws for a Cause Club, NAZ Compliments Club and the Decorating Club. Good thing she likes running around.
She’s also a lifeguard at Winchester Swim Club.
“I think I’m ready to play two sports and study nursing,” Miller said. “I’m motivated because a lot of people tell me you can’t do it. I want to prove to them I can. I know it will be hard, but I want to do it, so I’ll give it everything I have.”
Miller’s best should put her in position to succeed in both athletics and academics.
She’s proven throughout her high school career that she can handle huge workloads, and she’s quite motivated to make a difference both at Neumann and beyond.
It all comes back to the nurse at Penn Presbyterian.
”She was so helpful,” Miller said. “I was so young, but looking back, I was young and I was so fragile when it came to that. I was in utter shock. The nurse got my mind off it. She helped me and was patient even though I was so scared.
“It’s definitely a reason I want to be a nurse, she made my dad laugh, made me laugh, let me know we’d be safe. She took care of everyone, not just my dad. It was pretty cool.
“I’m not sure what kind of nurse I’m going to be, there are a few options. But I want to help people. I want to make them feel like she made me feel.”