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  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Kylee Miller knows love is in a name

  • Kylee Miller, Pittsburg State University nursing senior, has spent most of her four years on the PSU campus helping her fellow students.

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  • Kylee Miller, Pittsburg State University nursing senior, has spent most of her four years on the PSU campus helping her fellow students.
    This past summer she went a few thousand miles further and served as an African Impact volunteer in Kenya.
    “I went to Africa because I wanted so badly to use my skills to help others,” Miller said. “The trip cost $6,200, but it was all paid by donations from family and friends. I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to go.”
    She assisted nurses in patient care at Kikyuyu Hospital and Karuri Climic, administered immunizations to infants, performed family planning check-ups and inserted IUDs and birth control arm implants and did HIV testing.
    “About 30 percent of the people are HIV positive, so every pregnant woman who comes in and her partner will get tested,” Miller said.
    She also worked in orphanages, teaching youngsters how to wash their hands and eat more healthfully.
    “You create such a bond with these children that it makes you want to adopt all of them,” Miller said.
    She also assisted in feeding programs for the elderly.
    “I worked Monday through Saturday, eight to 10-hour shifts,” Miller said. “I did get to go on safari and I saw giraffes, lions, elephants, hippos, rhinos and cheetahs. The only thing we didn’t see was a leopard. The land is gorgeous and they have such beautiful sunsets.”
    She said that she was the only American in her group.
    “I didn’t hear another American voice for a month and came home with a British accent,” Miller said. “It’s gone now.”
    Her most rewarding experience was when she and another nurse birthed a baby girl at a clinic. It was not an easy delivery.
    “In the United States the mother would probably have had a C-section, but not every hospital there does C-sections and they cost a lot,” Miller said.
    Thankfully, mother and daughter were fine.
    “The mother named her Kylee, after me,” Miller said. “The baby’s father and her uncle are both on Facebook and post pictures of her, so I get to see her grow up. She’s so chubby now and can sit up all by herself.”
    She said that the trip made her even more grateful to be an American, but said she also fell in love with the African people.
    “They’re so happy and joyful to have clean water and a meal a day,” Miller said. “Sometimes we’re so greedy and have to have the newest item.”
    She grew up in Emporia and enrolled at PSU in 2008, and became involved with eight organizations and five honor societies.
    Miller has been active in Gorillas in Your Midst, a peer education group geared at educating students on healthy decision-making in all aspects of college life, and served as student coordinator.
    Page 2 of 2 - “As student coordinator, I was able to organize, promote and set up a variety of wellness events on campus, including Karaoke Night, AIDS Awareness Week, Love Your Body Month, the PSU Great American Smokeout and Freshman Experience,” Miller said.
    She also enjoyed being a PSU Student Ambassador.
    “I found it to be a joyful experience as I was given the opportunity to share all the educational and social benefits of being enrolled at Pitt State while giving tours to families and prospective students ,” Miller said. “As a Pitt Cares leader I assisted in facilitating the transition of incoming students to college and strove to make their families more comfortable with the changes involved in leaving home.”
    She was also a resident assistant for two years, has been active in Alpha Sigma Alpha in community service and raising money for numerous philanthropies. Another favorite organization was Campus Christians and the Nurses Christian Fellowship. A dean’s honor roll student, Miller has received the Excellence in Leadership and Service Award in Nursing and the Golden Gorilla Award.
    Miller will graduate in May with her nursing degree.
    “I think I’ll probably stay in the Pittsburg area for a bit, but I’d like to go back to Kenya within the next two years, and I’d like to eventually become a traveling nurse in the mission field,” Miller said. “I have so much world to see yet and so many people to help.”

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