Molly Miller is in a race to make the world a better place.
A rising cross-country star, Miller has her skis and her feet planted firmly on the ground. The Kimberley, B.C. Grade 12 student is a seven-time national champion in the under-16 and under-18 categories. She’s the youngest female to ever win the U-16 aggregate at nationals and was the only U-15 skier to qualify for U-20 Junior nationals in 2016.
But Miller’s accomplishments go on long after she crosses the finish line in her races. She’s also a philanthropist, with her own non-profit charity that has raised thousands of dollars and collected hundreds of pairs of shoes for those less fortunate, at home and abroad. She was awarded the Governor General’s Sovereign Award for volunteers in November.
Miller, 17, is the founder of Walk a Mile in Someone’s Shoes, a non-profit designed to raise awareness and inspire action to help those less fortunate.
“It’s nice to give back because I’ve been so fortunate in my life to have the opportunity to compete in sport at such a high level and that is something a lot of children will never have,” says Miller.
Walk a Mile in Someone’s Shoes began in 2016 with a barefoot walkathon to draw attention to the plight of people who don’t have shoes. Since then, more than $7,000 and hundreds of pairs of shoes — both new and used — have been collected and shipped to India, Haiti and to local youth in need. She credits Kimberley shoe store owner Celeste Needham with helping put her project over the top.
“Sometimes I don’t get a lot of sleep,” says Miller, speaking about a busy schedule that sees her training for skiing 50 weeks a year, maintaining her 3.9 GPA and doing her foundation work.
Come fall, she’s off to study and ski at Northern Michigan University. This week, Miller is competing in a handful of races for Team B.C. at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer. She placed 7th on very cold day in the opening 7.5K Canada Games race on Monday at River Bend Golf and Recreation area.
Miller is also due to ski the 10K classic mass start, the 1.25K skate sprint and possibly the team relay.