Forman Scholar Samantha Miller Destined to Develop Arts & Music Opportunities
From a young age, Samantha Miller was destined for arts and musical greatness. You could always find her singing or humming along to a favorite song. This musical interest followed her through middle and high school when a teacher encouraged her to participate in the school’s musical programs. In voice lessons and playing clarinet in the marching band, Samantha naturally had a knack for the rhythm and sound.
Samantha carried this passion into her career when just last month she graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Her studies were in the commercial music degree program, which translates the business of music and serves as an introduction to the arts and administration. She’s thrilled to apply her knowledge to an exciting job opportunity she has lined up with an organization close to her heart.
During an internship she completed over the summer, Samantha spent time at South Jersey's leading arts education organization, Apple Farm Arts and Music Center. For several weeks she was a public outreach assistant and learned all about their arts education programming, summer arts camp for children, outreach in schools, and community-based transformative arts and learning experiences. She clearly made a wonderful impression during her time there because after her internship was completed, she was asked to return in a full-time capacity after graduation!
“I couldn’t be more thankful that I ended up in an arts organization. Where some may not like this side of things, I love learning the business side of a community I am so passionate about,” Samantha said. “I’m actually a huge math nerd and thoroughly enjoy all of the boring things that no one ever seems to want to do. Working behind the scenes of an art organization is rewarding because we’re spreading arts to children that will get to experience art the way I did when I was younger. To think back to that long ago it makes me even more grateful that I ended up here.”
Outside of the classroom, Samantha still dedicated her time to the arts through her involvement with the university’s women’s music fraternity, Sigma Alpha Ioda (SAI). She was the social media chair and enjoyed learning about yet another aspect of the marketing side of music.
Kutztown provided Samantha with a close-knit community where it’s easy to find a familiar face on campus. The university is a place where teachers really get to know their students on a personal level, she said. The suburban environment also gave Samantha access to internships and other career related opportunities to expand her professional network.
“As soon as I toured the campus for the first time, I absolutely fell in love with it. You could immediately tell the students, staff, and professors were so helpful and welcoming even on day one,” Samantha said. “In fact, when my family and I were walking around we got briefly lost and randomly ran into a couple of students who instantly recognized we needed help and got us back on track. Ever since that day it really sold me. This same familiarity proved true even during the second visit when professors recognized me after only meeting once before. The school has a really nice personal touch that feels like a community.”
While she accomplished so much on her own in just a few short years, Samantha says she is thankful to the Forman S. Acton Educational Foundation for the guidance provided along the way. From the organization’s resources to moral support from staff, Samantha says the Foundation has greatly helped her during her journey to graduation and beyond.
“They’ve helped me in so many ways beyond the financial support,” Samantha said. “They’ve helped as emotional support even in times when it felt like no one else was rooting for me. Everyone at the Foundation including the students were always behind you 100%. Everyone goes through times of academic struggles from time to time. They helped me every step along the way and they still encourage me no matter what. I’ll never forget that and I’ll always be forever thankful.”