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Check out Brittnei Miller’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittnei Miller.

Brittnei, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I have a lot of passions – plain and simple. I believe that is what makes my story unique. And rather than just choosing just one to follow, I strive to combine all that I love to benefit one common focus – wildlife conservation. Growing up I knew that I loved wildlife. I was always out playing in the dirt or watching Animal Planet documentaries. Fast forward many years and I have graduated from Chapman University with my Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science and Policy. During my time in college I had managed to study abroad for 6 months in Florence, Italy and make the Anaheim Ducks Power Player ice crew. You see, several of my passions include traveling and ice hockey.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but these two passions would be extremely helpful in the future towards integrating all that I love to work towards conservation. Once I graduated college I decided to get my Masters from Edinburgh Napier University in the Conservation and Management of Protected Areas. Through this I was able to study coral reef systems in Tobago, venture to Scotland, and grow more knowledgeable in my passion for wildlife. It was in graduate school that I discovered one scientific paper that would forever change my life. This paper leads me to create my own conservation project called – Why Should You Care. I use the Theory of Change Metrics and qualitative data analysis through coding to carry out my research for interested wildlife organizations. Last year, I was able to travel to South Africa and work with the Cheetah Outreach to carry out Why Should You Care’s research. It is my goal to help wildlife and conservation non-profits better understand how they can impact the public through education. I believe that it will be changes in human appreciation for conservation and knowledge of the value of ecosystems that ultimately instill the long-term change needed to protect many species. And that is the goal of WSYC – to connect people to conservation, help non-profits identify new tactics to initiate change, and to follow my passion. After graduate school, I decided to pursue another passion of mine – fitness! I achieved my National Academy of Sports Medicine certification in Personal Training which I now have used for over 2 years – training and running large bootcamps within my community.

I never would have imagined that I would grow such a love for helping others to achieve their health and fitness goals. Most recently, I have started my own online personal training and nutrition business called – BrittFit. A portion of all the funds raised by BrittFit go directly back to conservation efforts and the work of Why Should You Care. I also run community fundraiser bootcamps to raise money for the International Anti-Poaching Foundation in South Africa. I guess it’s fair to say that I really have had an adventurous life so far and that God has given me the wisdom to somehow tie my experiences and opportunities together for the ultimate passion he has given me for wildlife conservation. You see, my job with the Anaheim Ducks provided me with a strong network of friends and followers who engage with the conservation work that I do. I also was able to land many modeling jobs that have also helped me to expand the impact of my conservation work. I met an actor, Travis Aaron Wade at one particular modeling gig who then introduced me to a documentarian name Phillip Waller.

From there I was able to work with Phil and maintain a feature role in his latest documentary called Captivity. Captivity is about the negative effects animals face when held in inadequate enclosures. By putting myself out there and in unseeingly related situations, I have been able to meet unique individuals, attend various conservation focused events like the Steve Irwin Gala, and land projects I never even considered. My experience as a personal trainer has also allowed me to make so many awesome connections and has provided me with outreach opportunities for fundraising and conservation communication. Each month my committed boot campers attend my International Anti-Poaching Foundation Fundraiser bootcamp where we get to SWEAT TO PROTECT wildlife. My travels and education have equipped me with the skills needed to continue my research when the opportunities arise. My education has provided me with a framework to actually turn my passion into a tangible project and my time in South Africa provided me a platform to carry out my first WSYC project.

Not to mention, I have been blessed with a videographer boyfriend who through his talents has helped open many of the doors I knock on. While this is all a summary of the past 27 years, one thing is for certain – I believe that in order to reach your goals you must make the pieces fit along the way on your own. It’s not about waiting to get to where you want to be – it’s about adapting your present situations to include steps towards that ultimate goal. I think if you are able to connect your future goal with your current circumstances – you will find new and innovative ways of moving towards that goal – and have fun along the way. I bring fitness, hockey, travel, my education, and my skills all together through focusing them on wildlife conservation. If you think a little bit extra, there are so many ways to get started doing what you want – right now – no matter what occupation you have. I don’t know where I will be in a year or what exactly I will be doing, but I know I do know I have the skills within me to always keep wildlife conservation at my focus.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am a conservation researcher, a writer, model, and a personal trainer. I carry out research for wildlife non-profits to help them identify ways that they can better engage with the public. With the help of my videographer (and boyfriend), we also create documentaries of the research that I carry out to share with the world. I use my skills as a personal trainer and model to raise money for both my conservation work and for outside organizations, such as the International Anti-Poaching Foundation.

I hope people take away from my work that you really don’t have to have all the pieces together to make your life what you dream it to be. I hope my life so far is an example for others that you are capable of making any situation work to your benefit. If you think deeply enough about the opportunities already right in front of you – I do believe that you can find ways to connect them to your ultimate purpose. Life is too short to wait for that moment when you finally “make it”. I think we should spend each day in a constant state of “making it” by using our gifts, talents, passions, and wisdom to make the present moment work for us. I think that’s a challenge that keeps life exciting and gives you something to daily work towards no matter what you are doing. Not to mention, with this mentality you never know what is awaiting you just around the corner. You can never fail!

What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
It took me dislocating my knee to really make myself sit down and start my Why Should You Care website and project. And since, I have had so many awesome adventures, encounters, and lessons learned. So, my advice would be don’t wait until you break a leg to get started. That fear you feel isn’t because you shouldn’t start. I believe it is because we worry that once we start – we don’t know what amazing things might lie ahead. Pursuing your passions opens up a whole new world that isn’t always comfortable and that requires a lot of mental and physical strength. But if you try to focus on bringing your ultimate desires into the present moment by adapting your present circumstances to fit your beliefs, life will become more satisfying, challenging, and joy-filled.

You have to believe that you will become whatever its you imagine – and then make no exceptions. If you have to make that name for yourself – then do it. Everyone is often trying to do the same – so don’t expect everyone to care as much right away as you would like. But don’t let that deter you either. It’s just you and your dream. The rest are the ingredients to make that dream beautiful.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
People can check out my conservation project, research, and writing on my website – Why Should You Care www.whyshouldyoucare.org. On this page you will find links to the video documentaries on my Vimeo site of my research as well as to BrittFit – my online health and nutrition business.

Simply following my website and/or purchasing from my BrittFit packages will help me continue on my journey towards helping in wildlife conservation. You can also follow my other adventures on @brittneirae and at @whyshouldyoucare_

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jake Schaeffler
B House Photographer

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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