College & Career Coach Ashley LeSaicherre interviews a special volunteer, Michelle Miller. Michelle works for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, which gives its employees opportunities to volunteer in the community. The company partnered with the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations to execute to year-long program. 

This past year, Career Compass was privileged to partner with Michelle Miller of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana through the company’s Community Fellows program. I had the pleasure of speaking with Michelle recently to discuss her volunteer work with us.

Ashley LeSaicherre (AL): Before we get started with how you helped Career Compass (CC), please tell me a bit about the Community Fellows program and how you got involved.

Michelle Miller (MM): Sure! The Community Fellows program is a great opportunity for Blue Cross and Blue Shield employees to be matched with a local non-profit to provide pro bono (free!) services to community nonprofits. Employees get to use their skill sets to help a nonprofit complete a project. I love giving back, and have worked with many nonprofits through this initiative.

AL: Wow, what a great program. When were you matched with Career Compass, and what were your main projects?

MM: I started working with CC year ago, and was asked to compile information and create the 2016-2017 Annual Report. Career Compass collects a lot of data about outcomes and impact, as you know, and a big part of my job was to take all of that data and make it easy to understand for audiences who may not be familiar with your work. Also, I volunteered with Team Blue with a couple of colleagues to prepare for your statewide training in August 2017. We made folders, stuffed bags, helped with lunch, and whatever else was needed. 

Team Blue volunteers made sure that our annual statewide training for college & career coaches happened without a hitch. Michelle Miller is in the middle.

Team Blue volunteers made sure that our annual statewide training for college & career coaches happened without a hitch. Michelle Miller is in the middle.

AL: Thank you for helping with that! As a coach, I know ALL about the print resources and  materials we use with students. It’s a lot! You made sure we were all prepared for the school year. Had you heard of CC before you were matched with us?

MM: No, I hadn’t heard of the company before. I have two sons; one who graduated from high school already, and one who is a senior this year. Funny story: One day my son, who is a senior, came home from school, and mentioned we needed to complete the FAFSA for him to graduate. I remembered reading about that when I was stuffing bags. I was prepared for it!

AL: How random! You never know what you will be exposed to that can help you in the future. From everyone at CC, we really appreciate all the work you did this past year. All your help was behind the scenes, but it’s so valued by us. And, thank you for sharing your expertise on the annual report. It’s one of our most important print pieces. 

MM: You’re welcome! It was fun learning about CC. It’s such is a great organization that helps so many students each year. Your leadership team is wonderful, and that filters down to the rest of the staff. If y’all need me again in the future, I’m here! 

Volunteer Opportunities: If you’re interested in Career Compass volunteer opportunities like this, please contact Carrie Peña.

About Michelle Miller: Michelle has worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana for nearly 21 years and current manages the Provider Communication department. She is a writer, editor and graphic designer. She hails from both Louisiana and Mississippi. She grew up in Louisiana until age 14 when her family moved to the Liberty-McComb area of Mississippi. She went to Southwest Mississippi Community College for her associate degree and the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) for her bachelor’s degree. She later obtained her certification as a graphic designer from Louisiana State University (LSU). 

Michelle is married with two sons, one married and the other in the Louisiana Army National Guard. In her spare time, she likes canoeing, rehabbing furniture, and cooking.