Westside Works Grad’s Hard Work Catches the Attention of Falcons, Coca-Cola
By Buck Lanford, Fox 5 News
From prison to the face of a major announcement between an iconic Atlanta company and the local NFL franchise, that’s the journey that Ian Miller has taken over the last few years and at times even he can’t believe it.
“Never in my life, never, not a day. I don’t think I can even fathom being on TV from being in that cell,” said Miller.
In 2004, as a 16-year-old junior at Osborne High School in Cobb County, Miller and three accomplices made the terrible decision to rob a local CVS pharmacy. He was arrested for armed robbery and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Sitting in a cell with a lot of solitude and time to think, Miller decided that a youthful “stupid decision” was not going to define his life. While in prison he earned his G.E.D, and after being moved to a transitional center, qualified for Westside Works, a long-term neighborhood program focused on creating employment opportunities and job training for residents of Atlanta’s Westside Community.
He never graduated from Osborne High, but he did graduate from Westside Works fully trained and OSHA certified for a job in construction.
A week later, he was gainfully employed and working at Mercedes Benz Stadium, the future home of his hometown team, the Atlanta Falcons.
His hard work and inspiring story caught the attention of the Coca-Cola and the Falcons, and they selected this former prisoner to be the face of the announcement of their partnership.
From his lowest point, to the top of the world (at least to the top of Mercedes Benz Stadium), it has already been an amazing journey for Miller, and it’s far from over. He has already taken a job with a second construction company as a carpenter and has his sights set on learning about the engineering side of the business. He’s also expecting a child in December. For Ian Miller, life is good!