CONTACT:  Sarah Wahrenbrock               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

310.450.8338, ext. 229                                                04 December 2007



SMMUSD Student Receives ‘Hero’ Award from CNN


Josh Miller, a senior at Santa Monica High School, has been selected to receive CNN’s Hero award for his efforts to help students of all backgrounds succeed academically and in life.  He and the other winners will be honored during a live global telecast on CNN on Thursday, December 6th, at 6:00pm PT.  The show will be hosted by Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour.


In its first ever “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” CNN will be honoring ordinary individuals from six different categories who have accomplished extraordinary missions.  The categories included Medical Marvel, Young Wonder, Championing Children, Community Crusader, Defending the Planet, and Fighting for Justice.


Josh Miller has been selected as CNN’s “Young Wonder” Hero, an award given for outstanding achievement by a person under the age of 18. 


Josh, who has always been interested in making positive changes, was inspired to establish the Resilient Youth Foundation after his friend Eddie Lopez was killed in a drive-by shooting.  The foundation is a student-run non-profit group whose goal is to motivate all students to achieve and excel.  Josh established a scholarship program that recognizes students who demonstrate academic excellence.  He produced a documentary and created a program called “Rewards for Results,” in which at-risk middle schools students are rewarded for improving their grades.  As a result of Josh’s efforts, more than 700 students have improved their GPAs, work ethic, and citizenship.  Also, five students have received the Eddie Lopez scholarship.


“He’s a great guy and quite inspirational,” said Shane McLoud, a teacher who worked with Josh at one of the inner city schools and a former SMMUSD Board of Education member. 


“Josh is a shining example of how one person has the ability to create real and positive change,” commented Superintendent Dianne Talarico.  “We should all be inspired by what Josh has accomplished by the age of 17.”


From May through September of 2007, CNN received over 7,000 nominations from viewers in 80 countries.  From this enormous list of nominees, eighteen finalists were selected.  A Blue Ribbon Panel, consisting of famous activists, actors, world and business leaders, and humanitarians, then selected the finalists for each category.   For a full list of the Blue Ribbon Panel members, visit


For more information regarding the CNN Heroes award and the honorees and finalists, visit





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