Local VA Tech Shooting Survivor to Graduate

Lindsay -- May 13th, 2010

Harrisonburg resident, Virginia Tech shooting victim, and soon-to-be college grad Heidi Miller will receive her Bachelor’s degree from VT tomorrow in international studies and geography, after which she will serve a two-year term with Teach for America in Philadelphia.

Despite the horrific events of April 16, 2007, Miller has completed her double major within four years, traveled to numerous countries, and led, in her words to the Roanoke Times, a “normal college, four-year academic career.”

More from today’s article in the Roanoke Times:

Heidi Miller has never described to her parents what she saw or what she felt in that classroom. But the day after she was shot, she told them she wanted to graduate from Tech.

Sitting in the disheveled Foxridge apartment she shares with three other young women, Miller said she is relieved to have the third anniversary behind her. The cap and gown hang in her closet. The announcements have been mailed.

“I want graduation to not be about April 16th. I want it to be about what I did as a normal college, four-year academic career. And I want it to be a celebration of that,” she said.

Miller has told her family, as a way of moving on, that she doesn’t plan to return to Blacksburg for the next anniversary of the shootings.

The Teach for America placement next school year will be with inner-city youth.  Heidi hopes to use her experiences to “model for them a way through those difficulties and build for them a support network such as the one she had.”

Virginia Tech’s 139th commencement ceremonies will begin Friday, May 14, 2010, with VA Governor Bob McDonnell giving the keynote address Friday evening.

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2 Responses to “Local VA Tech Shooting Survivor to Graduate”

  1. Thanks for posting this Lindsay. I’ve never met Heidi but I think the world her – she is an amazing young woman. All those kids down at Tech, the way they pulled through this tragedy. They are an absolute inspiration. College is supposed to be a time of discovery, joy, and safe growth and it pains so many of us to see that stolen. I’m going to try and honor Heidi’s wish:

    “to tie up some parts of it, because I just can’t keep carrying it around anymore. And it’s hard when I know you all are carrying it around.”.

    Fair enough Heidi, you go live a long life full of love and joy. I’ll quit worrying about you and know that your best days are ahead. Onward!

    • Lindsay says:

      Thanks, Bubby. I couldn’t agree with you more. I don’t personally know Heidi either, but it’s been inspiring to follow her transformation – this new milestone being no exception.

      For those who aren’t familiar with Heidi’s story, Heather at the DNR has done numerous interviews with and stories on Heidi over the years. http://www.dnronline.com/details.php?AID=46362&CHID=1 (4/16/2010)

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