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Inaugural scholarships honoring former Wayne Law Dean of Students Michele Miller awarded by The 313 Project

August 28, 2012

Michele Miller, Wayne Law’s beloved dean of students who died Aug. 27, 2011, would no doubt be pleased with the first recipients of a scholarship created in her honor by The 313 Project.

Miller devoted her life to learning, mentorship and education. She graduated from a Detroit high school and worked as a teacher in Highland Park before she attended Wayne Law, where she returned to serve as Dean of Students for almost 25 years.
The 313 Project — a nonprofit organization that started as a student coalition at Wayne Law — states its mission as an effort to “connect the legal community to Detroit’s underserved areas through pro bono, education and charitable effort.”
The Dean Michele R. Miller Memorial Scholarship was begun by The 313 Project to help graduating Detroit high school students as well as to serve as a tribute to Miller, who was “a light and inspiration to thousands of students and colleagues,” said Wayne Law alumna Aisa Villarosa Berg, director and one of the founders of The 313 Project.
Miller also surely would be pleased that Tanneh Nagbe, one of the first two recipients of the $1,000 scholarship that bears her name, has chosen Wayne State University to continue her education and has chosen teaching as a career path. Nagbe is a 2012 graduate of Western International High School, and plans to become an elementary school teacher.
She wants to focus on special education, drawing inspiration from her own favorite teacher.
“A teacher named Ms. Dee saw my potential, and with her help, I was removed from special education class by the end of my seventh-grade year,” Nagbe said. “With this experience, I know I can relate more with students in this situation and encourage them to be great in spite of all odds.”
She has worked as a volunteer to beautify Clark Park in Detroit, tutored youths through Latino Family Services and packaged food for underserved communities. She also recently earned a scholarship from the Optimist Youth Foundation of Detroit.
The other scholarship recipient is Juan Sancen, a 2012 graduate of Cesar Chavez Academy, who plans to study science at Saginaw Valley State University. Three finalists who were awarded $250 Barnes & Noble gift cards from The 313 Project are Cass Technical High School graduate Malik Harris, Southwestern High School graduate Chelsea Ann Pierce and Universal Academy graduate Hanan Yahya.
Winners were selected based on academic excellence, service and commitment to Detroit and passion for public interest and/or social justice.
For more details on the scholarship and how to donate for next year’s recipients, email to the313project@gmail.com or call 248-752-7085.