Visit a chocolate factory. Travel to Germany in time to see the leaves change color. See the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. These are only a few of the items on junior Jana Miller’s bucket list. With a continually growing list of things to do before she dies, Miller is already starting to check items off her list.
First on her bucket list is participating in a humanitarian trip. In June of this year, Miller will be able to check that off after three years of preparation.
“Most of the money I’ve raised myself because I want to know that I paid for the trip myself. That way it will be more meaningful,” Miller said.
After yard sales and countless hours of hard work, Miller’s trip to Merida, Mexico will become a reality. There she has the opportunity to aid in the construction of a school building for the locals and help teach children English.
However, it’s not just about the trip and checking off items on her bucket list for Miller, it’s about learning about cultures outside of America.
“I hope to gain a better understanding of what the world is really like,” Miller said. “Here in Utah everyone’s really sheltered. We don’t really know how people live outside of America and I want a better understanding of that.”
Along with her eagerness to understand the situations in other countries, Miller wants to help those less fortunate than she is.
“I’ve always had the desire to help others and I feel like this is the only way to show that,” Miller said.
However, a humanitarian trip isn’t the only way she plans to serve.
Next on her bucket list is serving an LDS mission, something Miller’s been planning on since she was fifteen. While serving a mission isn’t a requirement for the young women of the LDS church, Miller feels that it is important that she dedicates a year and a half of her life to serving one.
“I feel like I have a tender heart and I feel like I can change people for the better,” Miller said.
Six years ago, Miller was able to check off one item on her bucket list.
She was able to hike Robbers Roost, a trip that has become tradition for Miller and her family. Miller has now made the 28 mile hike over six times and is already planning to make another trip to the outlaw hideout over spring break.
Miller looks back on her hikes fondly.
“I love after the first day, because people start throwing things in the fire,” said Miller. “They start burning clothes, burning candy. They’re like, ‘I should not have brought this’ because everything’s so heavy. Some people just want to fall down and start crying in that canyon.”
While Miller has checked the hike off her list, she hasn’t even scratched the surface of everything she wants to do yet.
Miller plans on becoming a dental hygienist. She’s already preparing for her future career by doing an internship this semester at Huntington Dental in Mt. Pleasant.
“I like the hands on experience,” Miller said. “I’ve been able to clean my mom’s teeth and I’ve helped with a tooth extraction.”
While becoming a dental hygienist is an important step to completing her bucket list, it isn’t what she’s working hardest at.
Miller’s main goal is simple: to be a kind person and someone you can rely on.
“I want to be known as a nice person. I don’t want to be mean,” Miller said. “Maybe people get over rude things you say or do in a couple of years, but some people never forget that you were mean to them. I remember things from elementary when people were mean to me and I realize I don’t want to be like that.”
Miller’s kind deeds can be seen in her everyday actions, from helping a friend to sharing a smile.
Partially do to her compassion, Miller was crowned as the Class of 2017’s prom queen. Her crowning resulted in mixed feelings as she was the first prom queen to opt out of promenade.
“It’s kind of hurtful when people say [I’m] stupid for not doing promenade,” Miller said, “but you just have to deal with that and hope they respect your choice. I just have to go in there and smile big and everything will work out.”
While Miller was weary of being prom queen in the beginning, she soon warmed up to the role.
“I’m really excited that a girl like me could be prom queen,” said Miller. “I feel like that doesn’t usually happen. It’s usually the girl who has the most friends.”
However, Miller seems to have many friends.
“That girl is going straight to heaven,” said junior Hannah Bartholomew, a close friend of Miller.”