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Student Spotlight: Caley "CJ" Miller

Caley "CJ" Miller

Caley "CJ" Miller
Major: Business

Caley "CJ" Miller has been a boxer all his life, and this has spurred his decision to study business and finance.

"My dad and I run a gym, Champions Boxing Gym in Lombard, that is home to many amateur and professional boxers," he said. "Although I have always been fighting, coaching has also been a passion of mine. My goal is to run my own boxing gym and train professional fighters."

Coming to College of DuPage was an easy choice. First, by living at home, he can train regularly and participate in boxing. Second, he was named a Presidential Scholar, which includes a full-tuition scholarship. 

"Being a Presidential Scholar is definitely hard work," he said. "It requires you to go to every class and stay up on all of your coursework. College is different than high school, one bad test grade can ruin your semester average. It is a great award, though, because it provides many people an opportunity to go to college who might not have been able to." 

Miller, who has grown up around business and enjoys dealing with money, looks forward to the many opportunities in finance. After earning his associate's degree, he plans to transfer and earn a bachelor's degree in finance. Ultimately he'd like to use his education to remain in boxing, finding inspiration in boxer Micky Ward's life.

"I remember everything he has accomplished even with all of the obstacles in his way, and I tell myself if he was able to succeed then I can too," he said. "I first saw Micky Ward box when he fought Arturo Gatti in what was deemed 'the fight of the century,' but it wasn't until I saw the movie 'The Fighter' that I realized how inspiring he was. In the movie, Ward struggles to overcome many tough defeats as well as the shadow of his older brother. He was never the most talented fighter, but his determination and practice helped him succeed better than anyone thought he could. This influenced me because it showed me that anybody can overcome a tough defeat. It also taught me that a champion cannot make excuses and must be willing to do anything to win.

"These attributes have personally helped me succeed because they caused me to adopt the work ethic that I have today. I have always been competitive, but my work ethic is what sets me apart from my peers. Whenever I am in a situation that makes most people quit, in life or in the ring, I think of Micky."

Miller is thankful to College of DuPage for helping him meet his educational goals while providing flexibility that allows him to train. He advises other COD students to choose their own paths. 

"Ignore what your friends do and focus on what is important," he said. "Focus on setting yourself up in a position to succeed in the situation that you are in. Everyone is different, and there is no one right way to be successful."

More about the Business program