Daughters of Franklin native are hooked on volunteerism

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 14, 2008

GASTONIA, N.C.-An extra-credit assignment, &uot;Participation in the annual 10 mile Multiple Sclerosis Walk,&uot; turned out to be a life-altering experience for sisters Dominique and Erica Miller, whose mom, Evangeline Jones Miller, is a Franklin native.

When younger sibling Erica’s fifth-grade teacher issued the assignment, Erica persuaded her parents and sister to participate.

&uot;The Walk&uot; became an annual family event, instilling within the sisters a lifelong &uot;Need to Help&uot; others.

They subsequently volunteered with the following programs and organizations: Candy Stripers, the National Cancer Society, Special Olympics, Students Against Drunk Driving, Habitat For Humanity, The Math and Science Initiative, Students Advocating For Youth, the Boys’ Club (where Dominique was a 2006 Volunteer of the Year), Wheelchair Bound and &uot;At-Risk Youth,&uot; and as elementary, middle and high school tutors and mentors (which earned Erica a 2007 Volunteer of the Year award).

Dominique, an avid researcher and a two-time National Science Foundation Grant recipient, recently received bachelor of arts degrees in psychology and sociology from North Carolina State University.

She’ll enter the University of North Carolina-Greensboro’s &uot;Marriage and Family Therapy&uot; graduate program in August and is currently presenting research for the foundation on &uot;The Effects of Music on Various Genre&uot; at an Oakland, Calif., symposium.

Erica, also an avid researcher, National Ventures Scholar, American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) Scholar and Wake Forest University senior majoring in psychology and history, will present research on &uot;Asian American Dating Practices&uot; in April at a Denver, Colo., symposium.

Both are Dean’s List students, Tae Kwon Do black belts, plan on earning doctorates, and some day hope to open their own mental health wellness center.

Relatives currently residing in Franklin include: grandparents Langford and Susie Harris, aunts Lahoma Jones and Earva Sumblin, uncle Haywood Jones, and cousins Darnell Lee Jr., Kory Walker Lee, Domonic T. Scott, Jessie Artis, Lynora Sumblin, Pamela Jones Newsome, and Marcus Jones, a Howard University psychology doctorate candidate.