Spirit of 76 Memorial Scholarship

Jonathan “J-Mill” Miller, a member of the Lewiston-Porter High School Class of 2010 was known by his family and friends for his strong faith and the happiness and peace that he achieved by living for the moment. He had the heart of a giant and smile of an angel, touching those he knew and loved, as well as strangers. He had the gift of making everyone feel like they were his best friend. Jonathan consistently displayed kindness, courage, and zest for life itself. He knew how to face struggles with a light heart and turn challenges into successes. The Spirit of 76 Memorial Scholarship was established to honor Jonathan’s admirable character, keep his memory alive and aid a deserving student achieve his/her academic goals. 

Scholarship Eligibility -  Student must be nominated by someone who can provide evidence of applicant’s character, values, and personal qualities that he/she demonstrates a commitment to the ideals by which Jonathan lived.-  Scholarship nominee must be a member of the Lewiston-Porter senior class and planning to enroll as a full-time matriculated student at a two or four year college in the fall. Preference will be given to a student planning to major in Criminal Justice, as Jonathan was planning to do.-  Nominee must demonstrate that he/she possesses the fine qualities that Jonathan Miller consistently displayed in his life by writing a statement.

Completed application must be submitted by nominator to:Lewiston-Porter High School Guidance Office 4061 Creek Rd.Youngstown, NY 14174. No later than the last Friday in April and must contain:

1.  Completed application form(Pick up an application at the High School Guidance Office or download/print items below) 

2.  Nominator’s Letter of Recommendation that provides evidence that the applicant’s character, values, and personal qualities demonstrate a commitment to the ideals by which Jonathan lived. Please provide examples of these qualities.

3.  A personal statement written by the nominee describing who they are and how they demonstrate Jonathan’s characteristics of kindness, love, courage, strength, compassion and perseverance in their life. Statement should convey how they have displayed Jonathan’s loving nature.  (The student nominee will be informed of their nomination and the required personal statement by the Lewiston-Porter High School Guidance Office upon receipt of the completed application.)


We focus on core values: caring, kindness, honesty/trustworthy, respect and showing good citizenship.

A student who displays all of these characteristics exhibited through specific examples on the nomination form exhibiting each of the following:  

Love as J loved – there was no one that J didn’t show respect for and a love for as a person. He accepted everyone.  He made each person feel as if they were his best friend.  one who values differences in people.  Demonstrates a “zeal” for life.

Demonstrates Compassion – his patron Saint was St. Vincent DePaul.  The focus is serving those in need, emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc; J loved where loved was needed, helped anyone who called him, never saying no….nothing was too much if it meant it helped someone else.  J’s life demonstrated that he focused on others above self!

Demonstrates Courage and perseverance and strength – a student who faces struggles with a smile, with a light heart, knowing this is what his life is and how to make the best of it. A student who keeps trying despite their limitations; who turns challenges into successes!

Demonstrates Kindness – bearing other’s offenses with kindness; avoiding passing judgment on others; slow to anger; charitable with his speech; avoided speaking unkindly; used kindness to “correct” others; one who cultivates a love that overflows in kind deeds; gets along with everyone;

Hardworking – someone that holds a job in good standing;  J had a tremendous work ethic, working three jobs at any one time; whether it was his formal supervisors or private people he worked for, the message was the same from all of them…reliable, flexible and always there with a smile and kind word.

Citizenship – through St. Vincent DePaul Society and visits with an “adopted” elderly lady in a nursing home who had no family were just some of the things J did. Helping neighbors or random people he came across was common practice for him.

Many described Jonathan as having the heart of a giant and smile of an angel, touching those he knew and loved as well as strangers alike. J is known to turn enemies into friends, one described as selfless.

Nominations are important because people who naturally live this way rarely talk about it or frankly, even see their traits as so special.  It takes others that are affected by them to take the time to nominate.  

Opening nominations up to the community is also important since keeping the momentum of what “goodness” can do for others, is something we as a family want to keep alive through J’s legacy.

First Scholarship Recipient - Nicholas Conde - 2010 Winner

“Live by faith, one day at a time”. J Mill was not only an all around amazing person, but has been an incredibly inspiring friend to me. Every day, I wake up I am so blessed to know that I have him watching over me. It truly strengthens me mentally and spiritually to know that he is there helping me make every day decisions.

By being the first beneficiary of the “Spirit of 76” scholarship award, I not only feel extreme gratitude, but also great honor. When receiving this award, I hope it show everyone what an absolutely beautiful person J-Mill was. Being a close friend to J, being with him through my high school career, I have seen him differently than everyone due to the close friendship we created. With this in mind, I hope future candidates will benefit from not only the scholarship, but take with them what this honor truly means.

This award helped prepare me for college, by utilizing the funds from the “Spirit of 76” scholarship. With the benefit in mind it has awarded me the opportunity to excel in my college goals. In closing, I know that J-Mill would have been proud to know that I am fulfilling my dream while having him by my side every step of the way, while “Living by faith one day at a time”.

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Adam Pike Scholarship Winner 2011.
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Nick and J - Shared great times
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Taylor James 2013 Scholarship winner
Connor Dunn
Connor Dunn 2012 Scholarship winner
Colton Stallard 2015 Scholarship winner