By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
GLASSBORO – Whether on the Glassboro borough council or remembering her legendary career as a local student-athlete, Anna Miller knows the great value of teamwork and working together for a common cause.
Miller, who has been honored by several different Hall of Fame organizations, was re-elected in November to represent the public in her hometown of Glassboro.
Today, she stands as a true role model of someone who loves her community, constantly giving back whether it's through her hospice care work, on borough council or volunteering. She is now a role model as one of the few African Americans elected to public office in Gloucester County.
"I enjoy being able to help the residents of Glassboro," Miller told Front Runner New Jersey.com. "Since serving on council, there are a lot of things that the average person isn't aware of that's instrumental for them.
"For example, I wasn't aware of the senior citizen property tax rates. So there are different things that I learned as a council person, which enables me to help the community and bring them information that they may not be aware of."
After being in the public eyes though her high school and collegiate years as a track and field standout, Miller admitted she initially had to give some thought to entering the political arena.
"In the beginning, I was appointed [to borough council] in 2013," Miller said. "I was approached by the Democratic committee and some council members and asked if I would be interested. At first, I was like, 'I don't know.' But then I thought, that's a way for me to be a voice for those people that feel that they don't have a voice."
Miller made a name for herself through sports, in sprints, relay races and the long jump that led her from Glassboro High School to local Gloucester County College for two years, which is now Rowan College of South Jersey.
She went on to run track at Eastern Kentucky University, where she was a standout sprinter and triple jumper. Through those experiences, she learned the value of teamwork, which she continued to carry with her.\
"I'm on several committees with council. On our relays, there are four of us," Miller said. "Every person on the team is important. You know, if we didn't work as a team, we didn't win and you couldn't blame just one person.
"Everyone has to do the job and do their part, and do it to the best of their ability. Sometimes, what's my best ability for me, still may not be good enough to beat the competition. As long as I know that I gave 110%. That's all I can ask of myself and for my teammates. On council, we may have disagreements but at the end of the day we can agree to disagree and continue to work together as a team," she added.
'Miller said over her years on council, one of the biggest lessons she learned is to only promise things she knows she can have an effect on, regardless of how well-intended she is to help someone.
"The biggest thing that I've learned being on council is I would say, never promise, something that you can't deliver," Miller said. "I always say I'll do the best that I can. And if I'm not able to help you, I can point you in the direction of someone who can."
When she is not performing her council duties, Miller is the community liaison for Lighthouse Hospice in Cherry Hill.
"I love it because there are so many people that have misconceptions about hospice," Miller said. "They're not aware of what the hospice benefit truly is. So when I meet with those families, it gives me an opportunity to dispel all of the myths that they may have about hospice and make them aware of the services that they've paid for."
"I let them know that they're not alone, going through this journey with their loved ones that's on hospice. We have to take care of our family and it doesn't hurt to ask for help. Sometimes as a caregiver, you give and give so much of yourself that you become ill."
Miller said hospice provides that assistance when caregiving becomes so challenging. She said it pleases her to provide that extra help to someone in need during those challenging times.
"It's just a great feeling when I meet with the family and tell them the services that we can offer them and the support. It's like a weight has been lifted off of their soul because now they know they're not alone."
Miller said she recognizes the importance of role models and has always worked to be a positive one for young African Americans and all young people. She and Mayor John E. Wallace, III are the only Blacks on the seven-member council.
"That is very important because we all need role models, even though we say to ourselves sometimes I don't want to be a role model because that puts too much pressure on you," Miller said.
"If you're going about your daily life, doing the best that you can do, and being honest and truthful about everything that you do, that in itself, sets a good role model for people. I just encourage anyone that's interested in getting into politics to do it. Because then that way, you have an extra voice about what's going on."
Miller said she has always considered it an honor to represent the people of her hometown on the council.
"Growing up in Glassboro, we are working hard to bring positive changes to the town," Miller said. "I'm just honored to be able to be a part of the change in the growth and the quality of life for the residents of Glassboro."
For the record, Miller has been included into the Glassboro High School Sports Hall of Fame, the Gloucester County College Sports Hall of Fame and the Rowan College Gloucester County Alumni Hall of Fame
In paying it forward, She has served as a volunteer Glassboro Park and Recreation track and field program for more than 20 years. She earned her associate's degree in business from Gloucester County College and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University in healthcare administration.
She also wanted to point out she's the mother of "two loving" daughters and shares time with much of her family that still lives in Glassboro. It's clear that Miller has never forgotten where she came from – and lives it every day.
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