JCJC freshmen competes for $100,000 Dr. Pepper Scholarship
Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: email@example.com
Date Submitted: 2013-12-09 07:37:54
ELLISVILLE – Jones County Junior College freshman, Lindsay Miller was in total shock after learning she would be competing in the final round of Dr. Pepper’s Tuition Giveaway for $100,000 in scholarships. The Laurel resident sent word via Instagram with a picture with her dad and inspiration, Paul Miller, by her side.
“I’m in a crazy whirl of excitement!!! Brooks is the guy I’ll be competing against Saturday, December 7. His story is incredible too! He made 16 and I made 15! Right now we’re at “Fanfare” for pictures!!!” said Miller.
Miller found out three weeks ago, her video and essay caught Dr. Pepper’s attention. To become one of the five finalists and to compete in Atlanta today (Friday), Miller had to get people to vote on her video story, sharing how her father’s brain injury inspired her career and how she would impact her community.
“It was a serious injury. He cracked his skull falling out of a golf cart. It caused him to lose a lot of his personality and his capability to speak,” said Miller.
Making something good out of a bad situation, Miller said the accident inspired her to be a speech pathologist. It’s also why she began searching for scholarships as a high school senior at Laurel Christian High School.
“I found the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway contest last year and I created the video with the help of Amanda Kennedy at LCHS. Then she realized contestants have to be at least 18 years old. I was two months short of meeting that requirement,” said Miller.
Kennedy helped her revise this year’s video when Miller changed her major from education to speech pathology. Thinking the scholarship was based on the video submission, Miller didn’t know until three weeks ago she would have to throw footballs to win the scholarship.
“My dad coached me and we’ve been practicing every day since then. I can throw a mean spiral now!” Miller joked.
In fact, she averaged 14 completions at her final practice at JCJC on Wednesday afternoon for the media. Determined to do better, Miller’s evening practice average increased to 16. She must have been feeling pretty confident when she entered the Georgia Dome the afternoon of Friday, December 6, because she completed 15 throws through the Dr. Pepper target in 30 seconds, almost beating out her male competitor, Brooks Bergman who completed sixteen.
“I am so excited to have this opportunity to compete for $100,000 tomorrow (Saturday, December 7), but even more so that I get to compete with such an awesome guy and now friend, Brooks Bergman and I will be on during halftime of the SEC championship tomorrow! Watch!” said Miller.
The only disappointment Miller said she’s experienced during this whole process was Alabama’s loss to Auburn last week. As a huge Alabama fan, she was hoping she’d be able to watch her favorite team play for the championship Saturday. However, as a finalist, Miller is walking away with a lot to smile about and a lot of cash. She’s racked up at least $22,500 in scholarships from Dr. Pepper. All five finalists earned $2,500 and the second place prize is $20,000. Of course, she’d like to win it all to stay debt free after six-years of college. Miller said she plans to transfer to the University of Alabama to fulfill her dream of being a speech pathologist and giving people like her dad, a “voice.”
Miller’s fierce competitive nature forced a tie with Bergman on Saturday’s competition when both tied with 15 completions. There is some speculation that Miller actually won as fans re-played the video, however Miller was awarded the second-place prize of $20,000 and said she’s not mad with her performance, but very grateful for the experience and opportunities Dr. Pepper afforded her with the competition.