WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College Public Services and Fine Arts Division honored Taylor Miller for academic excellence this month by presenting her with the 2019 John Minges Criminal Justice Scholarship.
Miller, a Criminal Justice Technology student with a 4.0 GPA, is on track to receive an associate degree from PCC next spring. Through the Minges Scholarship, she will receive $500 to help offset the cost of her educational expenses as she pursues a law enforcement career.
“I want to thank (everyone) who was a part of the scholarship,” Miller said. “I’m overwhelmed by the generosity offered at Pitt ….”
A Grimesland resident, Miller says law enforcement runs in her family. While one grandfather served as a deputy with the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, another was the sheriff of Pamlico County. She says she also has an uncle who is the director of federal prisons on the East Coast.
“This decision to pursue law enforcement didn’t come easy,” Miller says. “It was always a childhood dream of mine, especially with my family’s large background in law enforcement …. However, despite my family’s involvement, I was always aware of the troubles police officers went through as a daily challenge, such as finances and life-threatening situations.”
Miller said it wasn’t until the fall semester, after taking part in a ‘ride along’ with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, when she realized she had a “passion for helping others” and began taking steps toward a career in law enforcement. Her goal after completing her studies at PCC is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from East Carolina University.
“After that, I will return to Pitt for the BLET program and, hopefully, earn my requirements to become a police officer for either the Greenville Police Department or Pitt County Sheriff’s Office. From there, I aspire to move up to the state or federal level [of law enforcement].”
Applicants for the Minges Scholarship must be second-year students with at least a 3.0 GPA and a minimum of 24 credit hours earned from PCC’s criminal justice program. They must also submit an application and letter of recommendation along with a 500- to 750-word essay.