The Boy Scouts of America honored George “Kila” Miller with the prestigious Whitney M. Young Award for outstanding service to his community on Thursday Sept. 3rd at the Salem Civic Center.
The Whitney M. Young Award is given to a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution through Scouting to low-income urban/rural youth.
Whitney M. Young Jr. (1921-1971) was executive director of the National Urban League in the 1960’s. In a speech delivered at the 58th National Annual Meeting of the B.S.A., Young challenged Scouting’s leaders to tackle the “unfinished task of making real the dream of justice and equality” for American youth.
In accordance with that theme, Miller echoed Young’s sentiments and thanked the Council for presenting him the award.
“Having been a Boy Scout myself, I applaud this valuable organization for its mission in providing years of enriching activies for youth, he states.
Organizers chose Miller for his years of dedicated service to the community, William Fleming High School and numerous youth organizations. His outstanding record of contributions to youth is immeasurable as evidenced by his extensive bio. (Log on to theroanoketribune.org for full bio.)
In addition to his 40 years as an educator with Roanoke City Public Schools, Miller’s legacy of community involvement is most notable and quite obvious by listening to the stories of mentorship and guidance from his students, players, and friends.
Presenting the award was Andre Peery, training chair Blue Ridge Mountains Council BSA, who was most instrumental in choosing Miller for the award.
“Kila” has always stood out to me as a focused person of action. As he has progressed over the years I knew this old Boy Scout would always be an advocate for helping our youth,” Peery stated.
He spoke of John St. Clair who had 13 years in the NFL., Lee Suggs, Judge Thomas, Jermaine Hardy, Calvin Banister–all influenced by Miller, each of which went on to play professional sports!
“Even Sherman Lee Jr. was his quarterback on one championship team.”
Peery also mentioned Richard Wilson who attended the event as another greatly influenced by Kila and one who is presently Head Womens Basketball Coach at Fleming HS, from which Miller graduated in 1970.
“All these players and many others owe a lot to the leadership “Kila” provided through coaching and mentoring and continues to be a strong supporter of youth today,” Peery added.
Setting the record straight, Miller explains the nickname “Kila” was given to him as “Lil Kila” passed down from his big brother James Westley Miller who was 10 years older than him and originally called “Kila” by friends and associates.
In accepting his award Miller told several stories about mentors who inspired him as Richard Chubb a prominent coach and English teacher who was a 2019 recipient of the award himself. Chubb sat proudly at the affair admiring Miller as one of many students who benefited from years of his guidance.
“Coach Chubb and others helped to shape the mentor I would become to so many young men for years to come,” Miller affectionately stated.
Although there are truly many great mentors–each with their own style–guiding and encouraging youth through critical stages of their development, few in this area are more deserving of such an honor bestowed upon him as the Whitney M. Young award. Kudos to George “Kila” Miller, a former Boy Scout who has launched many aspiring youth on to a life of fulfillment and success.
Those inspired by such a life story as this are urged to consider a donation to scouting in the Roanoke Valley. Your donation will go towards the Scoutreach program, the BSA’s commitment to making sure that all young people have an opportunity to join Scouting and as the organization motto states: Always “Be Prepared” to do what is necessary to help others.
For more information call the Blue Ridge Mountains Council BSA at: (540) 265-0656.