Austin Miller (show here) leads the pledge of allegiance at The Optimist Club of Coronado breakfast on June 1. Staff photo by Craig Harris.

Becoming an Eagle Scout is a pretty rare achievement, with only about 5% of those involved in Boy Scouts becoming one.

And those who have attained that honor are in good company: Former President Gerald Ford, baseball slugger Hank Aaron, and astronaut Neil Armstrong all are Eagle Scouts.

Coronado’s Austin Miller also has achieved the highest award in scouting, but that’s not all.

Optimist scholarship winner

The graduating senior from Coronado High School also won a $3,000 scholarship from the Optimist Club of Coronado on June 1, and now he’s off to college.

Optimist Club of Coronado scholarship winners Mariella and Natalia Avanni (seating) and Tahay Bubulka and Austin Miller pose with their checks on June 1. Staff photo by Craig Harris.

“I was excited… I wasn’t expecting to win it,” Miller said.

He plans to use the money to attend Cal Poly Pomona to study business and E-commerce, and he will be studying abroad.

For that, Miller looks forward to attending the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.  

I’m excited to meet people from all over the world and get to know different cultures.”

-Austin Miller.

“I’m excited to meet people from all over the world and get to know different cultures,” he said.

Emerging entrepreneur

Miller has been building his interest in E-commerce and learning much along the way through his own online apparel business that includes sneakers.

Although it is a diverse industry, Miller said he focuses on “reselling and taking positions on desirable limited pieces of fashion.”

From facing the challenges of developing a brand to having fun with the potential and the successes, Miller says, “I get happiness everyday from what I do, it doesn’t even feel like a job to me, really.”

Balancing school, sports, friends, and future is only a portion of what Miller has done especially when it comes to scouting.

Austin Miller (right) stands with Bill Parry, chairman of the Optimist Club of Coronado scholarship committee, at a club meeting on June 1, where Miller received a $3,000 scholarship. Staff photo by Craig Harris.

Hefty requirements for Eagle Scout

Becoming an Eagle Scout has some hefty requirements.

For one, dedication to the program; moving up in the ranks takes time and commitment.

Next is earning a total of 21 merit badges, holding a leadership position in the troop, as well as leading a community service project. 

“It’s been…it’s been packed, but it’s been doable,” he said. “It was so hard over COVID too…but the troop pulled through, my senior patrol leaders pulled through and made it doable, so I appreciate them for that.” 

Developing a non-profit

Miller is also in the very early stages of developing a non-profit to help the Coronado community and the high school.

Hard work and perseverance will get you anywhere is what I believe.”

-Austin Miller.

“I’m excited to see what we can possibly do,” he said. “Hard work and perseverance will get you anywhere is what I believe.”

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Melanie Coffman is a recent graduate from PLNU's multimedia journalism undergrad program with a sociology minor.

As a California-based writer, she is inspired by the beauty and creativity of the people and places around her. She is currently freelance writing and transcribing in addition to working at a local coffee shop. Her specialties include writing and editing, making to-do lists, and chocolate chip cookies (both baking and eating).