Make The Connection

October 11, 2021 | By Sarah Jonassen ’22

Madison Miller ’22 records The Veteran Narrative Podcast from her office inside the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University. (Photo courtesy of Madison Miller)

The Veteran Narrative

Ohio Wesleyan Senior Founds Nonprofit Organization Advocating Veteran Mental Health Awareness

Name: Madison Miller ’22
Hometown: Coshocton, Ohio
Majors: Psychology and Business Administration (Marketing Concentration)
Experience: The Veteran Narrative

Miller recently earned 501(3)c status from the Ohio Secretary of State for her nonprofit organization, The Veteran Narrative, which advocates for veteran mental health awareness and connects veterans with younger generations. She earned the status with assistance from Ohio Wesleyan’s Delaware Entrepreneurial Center, where her nonprofit has its office.

Madison Miller ’22 discusses her nonprofit organization, The Veteran Narrative, which advocates for veteran mental health awareness and connects veterans with younger generations. (Photo courtesy of Madison Miller)

Miller founded The Veteran Narrative in 2019 as part of her Social Impact Initiative while participating in the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program. In 2021, she competed for the state title as Miss Maple City. Listen to The Veteran Narrative Podcast or connect to its social media via Linktree.

Why I Chose This Experience

“I grew up in a funeral home family. We have had the opportunity to serve Coshocton, Ohio, through Miller Funeral Home since 2011. Although both of my grandfathers served in the military and instilled that freedom isn't free to me, I also got to experience the Coshocton County Honor Guard through the funeral home.

“I admired their constant service to their brothers and sisters in arms. I reached out to a few local veterans to see how I could help, and I was informed about the veteran mental health crisis. I advocated solely for veteran mental health awareness and found every opportunity to meet with any veterans that I could.”

My Favorite Moment

“I was in a second-grade classroom coloring for The Veteran Narrative’s #ThankYouCampaign in Coshocton. As we were coloring, I was asking the kids questions about the books we read. I simply asked them, ‘How can we thank our veterans?’

“I had kids shoot their hands up so quickly saying, ‘Send them flowers!’ Another kid shouted, ‘Send them lots of money!’ Finally, a kid said, ‘Say thank you!’ This response let me know that younger kids are capable of more than we know. I knew my organization was making a difference.” 

Lessons Learned

“I have grown so much as a person through my entrepreneurial journey. I have had trials and great failures that have led to the ultimate creation of my nonprofit. If it weren't for the entrepreneurs at the entrepreneurial center on campus guiding me, I wouldn't have been able to get here. I’m especially thankful for Heather Lane, Steve Flaherty, and (center director) Megan Ellis. The Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at OWU has changed my life for the better!” 

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan

“When I came to campus as a senior in high school, I had already visited six other small liberal arts colleges. I came from a small town, and I wanted to feel that same connection. It took three minutes before turning to my mom to say, ‘This is it. We don't need to visit anywhere else.’

“OWU has been a part of my family! I have met my best friends and even a second family. One of my close friend’s parents are OWU alumni and have opened their home to me. I know that if I need anything, I can walk down the street and be welcomed at the dinner table.

“OWU has not only provided me with my education and my nonprofit, but I know that my peers and their families are friends for life.” 

My Plans After Graduation

“My plans are still in the works, and there’s so much beauty to that! I feel so prepared to go out into the workforce. I got connected to Career Connection and the Woltemade Center from Day 1 as a freshman, and it has put me 10 steps ahead for my career. 

“I’m excited to see what is next. Special thanks to Mark Shipps for constantly helping me with my resume.” (Shipps ‘70 is an alumnus-in-residence in the Career Connection office.)