The J. Frederick Miller Award is given for distinguished volunteer service by a staff or faculty member of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or a member of the Religious Workers Association of Urbana-Champaign. The Miller Award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions as a volunteer during his or her life in the local community. The award recognizes direct public service to the campus or local community and efforts of organizing and delivering community service. The award honors volunteer participation which, in the judgment of the Board of Governors of the University YMCA, reflects an expression of moral understanding and civic responsibility and stands as a model of such service to students and others in this community.
Arnold became involved in several non-profit organizations around the community while she was a student. She has previously supervised ‘Outta the Mouth of Babes,’ a radio project where youth voice their own experiences around the C-U community, and ‘Girl Radio,’ an additional radio project meant for young women to discuss current events and the injustices they have faced.
She has been working with the YMCA since she graduated from graduate school. Arnold is passionate about working with young girls and helping to support and empower them. The drive behind her work comes from her motivation to build personal relationships and seeing the impact she has had on others. For example, she happily recalls a message she received from a former intern, who shared with Arnold that her mentorship influenced her to become active in non-profit organizations.
“I think it is up to each of us to make a positive impact in our community. With a nod of the head of the butterfly effect (with small actions can come tremendous results), we all can have a transformative impact in the spaces in which we live and work”, says Arnold.
Arnold’s goal is to continue working with the youth of the community. She would also like to become more involved within the field of self-publishing and to support authors who would like to have their own stories published. As a dance instructor at Urbana Dance Company, she hopes to provide free lessons for youth in the C-U community in the future. She believes that providing these free lessons will implement a different way of connecting with the community. Arnold’s energy and enthusiasm are well known here at the Library, but many may not know of her extensive efforts within the CU community. Please join us in congratulating her on this prestigious award!