Flint man making a difference as a mentor, coach

Posted: February 4, 2011 by Jared Field in High School

Read this great feature about Charles Miller, and his contribution to the future of the Flint. Miller, a youth specialist in in the city (and uncle to GLHer Marcellus Miller) is making a difference in the lives of young people, teaching them fundamentals and (at the very least) providing them with “something to do…”

From The Flint Journal:

Nearly 100 parents and supporters cramped into the tiny gym at Scott Elementary school to watch the kids compete. Still, most people in the community only seem to be concerned with the negative acts committed by the city’s youth.

But thanks to Charles Miller, the Scott league is producing positives.

Miller has been working at Scott for 31 years. He is a 49-year-old graduate of Flint Southwestern in 1979. His official title is “Youth Specialist” but that doesn’t begin to sum up what all he contributes to the area’s young athletes.

“My heart has been always been with the youth. Most of the stuff that I do is volunteer, this is volunteer, and I’m not getting paid a dime,” Miller said. “It’s just all for the youth and my heart has been like that every since I’ve been here, rather getting paid or not paid. I just want to see kids have something to do where they wont use that excuse, ‘We didn’t have nothing to do.’ ”

— By Jared Field | Great Lakes Hoops

  1. SBell says:

    Good stuff, especially in era of cutting gym class and making schools without playgrounds! (Not Flint specificallly, but part of the overall “War Against Boys”).

  2. My uncle Charles was the one who got me into coaching at the tender age of 14 when he put me in to coach his 10-and0under boys team led by former Northern and U of D hooper Shawanna Stubblefield (yes, SHE was the star on the boys team). He taught me what is severly lacking now that the reason we coach has nothing to do with us really, but when it is done right is all about the kids. I like to think it mixes two of my favorite things; teaching/mentoring and basketball…can’t think of a better way to integrate the two. To see all of the people he has impacted over the years is amazing.

    Quick story about his impact: Years ago when gang activity was huge in Flint, my brother and I were with a few cousins walking from Scott School to my uncle’s house not too far away. The local gang saw the group of us and began following us with taunts and threats. We were making plans to run, but just before we took off, one of them recognized my brother from playing basketball in the “Teen Club” at Scott that my uncle would have every week open to anyone in the neighborhood. He said, “That’s Charlie nephew, man leave them alone.” And that was it, they stopped following and left us be. Opening up that school has saved a TON of kids from the wrong path and also gave the ones who were on the wrong path a place where they weren’t judged, but knew they couldn’t disrespect him by bringing any nonsense there either. It’s too bad that there aren’t very many like him that care so much and are still around.

  3. G Mill says:

    Yeah My Unc definitely helped shape my life from an early age. I tell you there has never been a program i have seen that brought so much diversity to us! I have always been tall and even from the age of 5 when he started me playin sports there i played stuff i would NEVER have thought of! shuffle board, floor hockey, indoor and outdoor soccerm wrestling, etc etc.. even today when i tell people i participated in all of them they look at me in amazement! But Charles Miller made sure that ALL kids had opportunities to participate in many different sports and REQUIRED them to play in more than just football and basketball!! There was always a gym open and not only that the kids knew where to find him at his house if he needed them! He has feed kids who had nothin to eat and bought shoes and clothes for kids he saw that wanted to play and couldnt afford it.. played their fees.. found sponsors.. did fund raisers to make sure no kid was left out!! U can ask many from many generations as I have seen. There are stories some will never know of even life sacing actions taken and convincing kids it wasnt worth it when they were ready to kill. Marcellus is statin a true fact of a situation that could have went TERRIBLY wrong but just the association with “Charlie” caused peace… The respect the kids had for him even though other influences were driving them to do bad STILL overtook the evil.. If we had more people like him now Flint sports would be in a much better position. If we think we can wait till high school to try to get these kids right we are sadly mistaken!

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