Texas Junior Chamber names Draco Miller Jr. as an Outstanding Young Texan

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Draco Miller Jr.

As an elementary school student, Draco Miller Jr. was a helper to his teachers and principals. In middle school, the youngster received the Helping Hand award for the eighth grade.

Now 40, Miller — a graduate of Brownwood High School and Eastern New Mexico University — is known as a motivational speaker, mentor, civic leader and leadership development professional, and has also been involved in philanthropic work.

Miller, who is the son of Draco and Sonjya Miller, was recently named by the Texas Junior Chamber — Jaycees/JCI as a 2021 Outstanding Young Texan. Miller is one of five Texans to receive the award.

The Texas Junior Chamber Outstanding Young Texan Award recognizes leadership development and career development professionals who have made significant contributions to advocate, educate, and communicate the value of community, philanthropy, and individual development.

Miller lives in Katy with his wife, Deedy, and two daughters, and spends time during the week working with his father at Draco Janitorial. The younger Miller also created and owns LEAD You! (Leadership, Education and Development), through which he does keynote and motivational speaking and leadership, professional and personal development.

'Servant leader'

Miller said he was surprised and humbled at being named an Outstanding Young Texan. 

“It’s an honor to be named a Texas outstanding award winner with such a great organization like the Texas Jaycees,” Miller said. “One of my goals is always to be a servant leader. I really want to serve others. I know that I have been called to be a servant leader.”

Miller said the ability to speak in public “has been a gift. It’s an inherent gift. I believe the good Lord put me on this earth to lead, develop and mentor people. I’ve always had the gift of gab.”

Background

Miller played football at Brownwood High School and later at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, located in eastern New Mexico.

According to Miller’s bio:

His journey of speaking and development begin in higher education, as a student, graduate assistant football coach, assistant coach and university administrator.

Miller spent the first part of his collegiate career as a student athlete, where he found the passion for leadership development and motivational speaking. 

As an athlete, Miller was part of two Lone Star Conference Divisional Championships and was named team captain and All Conference. After graduating Miller became an assistant football coach and instructor in the department of Health and Physical Education for Eastern New Mexico University.

Speaking career begins

When giving the chance to speak at football conferences, local civic groups and organizations, he was hooked. Although coaching was his career path, speaking and developing was his calling.

After eight years as a collegiate football coach and instructor,  Miller rose through the university ranks to become an administrator for various departments. He served as director of student life. In his new role, Miller’s focus shifted from developing athletes  to developing and preparing college students for the “real world.

Miller created LEAD You! for leadership and professional development for all students. The program started with his department, but quickly evolved to a university wide program. Miller began producing weekly seminars.

“Even though I was a student athlete, I was involved in so many civic organizations … then when I became a coach, obviously you’re a mentor by trade,” Miller said. “But then I found that it wasn’t just football players that I was mentoring and helping. It was other athletes, then it became non-athletes, and then helping within the community that I lived in.”

Miller said the leadership program he created was initially known as LEAD ENMU. “When I left the university it just became LEAD you,” Miller said.

Mentor to athletes

Miller’s bio continues:

Along with LEAD You! Miller began to commit himself and students to philanthropic work, working with the city, civic groups and national groups. For his efforts, Miller was chosen as the national advisor of the year by St. Jude Children’s Hospital and The National Campus Activities magazine. Eastern New Mexico University also named him staff member of the year.

With his athletic background, Miller became a mentor to athletes and an advisor to many programs. Miller’s development crossed over to the next generation, as often times he was brought in to visit with recruits and their families. For his efforts, the athletic department awarded Mr. Miller with the Service and Appreciation award.

'Shoutout' to his parents

Outside of university speaking, Miller speaks to many clubs, organizations and departments from motivational speaking to development. Miller also has experience speaking at local, state and regional conventions and seminars.

“I also have to give a large, large, large shoutout and credit to my parents,  because my parents have always been one to give of themselves to something or someone that is greater than themselves,” Miller said. 

Miller described a photo taken on May 7, 1991 that is in his father’s office at Draco Janitorial. Draco Sr. “took it upon himself to revitalize Cecil Holman Park with paint, and I can remember my sister and I out there on that Saturday repainting all of the equipment at Cecil Holman Park,” Miller said.