By founding New Born Hope, Inc., - a Colorado non-profit volunteer organization that raises funds and supports programs for the advancement of maternal, fetal and neo-natal health care and well being - Zoya Miller has fulfilled her dream of pioneering pre-maturity prevention programs for women and helping to promote the availability of care for critically ill babies in Colorado.
Zoya is well known for creating a group of outstanding volunteers who have raised millions of dollars to support at-risk mothers and infant programs as well as many other causes. Zoya proudly says about the work done at New Born Hope: “The reward is priceless, especially when a parent walks up to you on the street and says thank you for saving my baby.”
Zoya Miller is a former fashion model for Vogue, Harper’s & Mademoiselle Magazines; and in addition to all the charity work she does, Mrs. Miller also has a pilot’s license and is an avid fly fisherman.
With her always sunny disposition, Zoya Miller is an enchanting woman who spreads joy to all who know her. She’s strong and embraceable all at the same time and adds beauty and sparkle everywhere she goes. Being around Zoya proves that sometimes all that glitters is indeed gold.
Zoya, you are so respected and loved in Colorado Springs and elsewhere; what do you love most about living in Colorado Springs? I love my friends; my friends are what mean the most to me in my community, such wonderful people - and the many cultural activities which is remarkable for a city the size of Colorado Springs. The location is so beautiful – we are right next to the mountains – it just couldn’t be a lovelier place to live.
You have given so much of yourself to many charitable organizations, which non-profits are you involved with at this time? The Memorial Health Systems Foundation; New Born Hope, Inc. - on a state-wide basis; the Colorado Springs Debutante Ball - which is for the benefit of the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center; the Broadmoor Garden Club; the National Society of Colonial Dames; the Family Attachment Center; and I’m very active with the Colorado Festival of World Theater and the Episcopal Chapel of our Savior.
Is there a charitable event you really look forward to attending each year? The two day New Born Hope Benefit in Colorado Springs. There is also one in Denver and one in Pueblo – and we are starting one in Grand Junction; and we have volunteers in Boulder. I look forward to the New Born Hope Benefit more than anything because I started the organization to prevent pre-maturity and to make sure that someone who has no health care insurance can get to doctors and get the care they need. I love it, I love what it stands for, and the event is always charming!
When is the New Born Hope Benefit? It’s usually at the end of November. This year it will be the first Thursday and Friday of December. It’s such a meaningful event. We have wonderful committees here in the Springs – and we have a lovely committee in Denver too. I just love everything about it.
What do you most value in your friends? They are genuine, and they are there for me in their sincere devotion to our friendship. My friends are like family. I love people who have integrity – you never have to doubt them, they are always going to be there for you. I also love people who have a sense of humor.
What is one thing nobody knows about you? When Hilliard and I lived on our ranch in Eagle, Colorado, I had no children at the time – and we found this beautiful ranch where we started out with a cook, but we couldn’t keep a cook, so I ended up cooking three meals a day for 13 men for two years. I also did artificial insemination on the cattle.
Who is the most interesting person you have ever met? My husband, Hilliard. He was always interesting, he was always funny, he spoke several languages, and he was musical, and he was a historian - and very masculine. I adored him.
How would you and/or others describe you? I’m a happy and optimistic person, and I think people recognize those things about me – and I’m patient.
I’m a comforter and I love to help - I think I have the “Nightingale Complex.” When something needs to get done, I go right to it – that’s kind of my personality. And I’m also an enabler.
Is there a book you have read that was so inspiring you wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others? It’s called “Unstoppable” by Cynthia Kersey. It’s 45 powerful stories of perseverance & triumph about people just like you and me. I actually met the author at a luncheon here in Colorado Springs. I’ve read the book many times.
What is your most treasured possession? It’s something my husband’s mother gave me that I admired in her house, it was a desk. It’s a William and Mary desk that was made in 1648, and it’s all veneered - except for the doors that have the original Waterford Crystal on it. It has secret compartments in it, and I absolutely love it!
What is a favorite childhood memory? Swimming in the big waves in the Atlantic Ocean with my father.
How do we get the younger generation more interested in charitable giving and volunteering? That’s a very interesting question. I say that because I’ve seen this over and over. If you like to volunteer, take them along with you. Take them outside of their own little world, and they can get to see the bigger picture. Tell them how important it is that you are a part of the community. Make it sound like fun and how much you enjoy it. Let’s say you have volunteered to be an usher at the symphony, or whatever it is, and say “Why don’t you come with me, and afterwards we can go to a movie…” You try to involve them in the things you are doing, and then you encourage them to do things in their own world – like at school. Children need to keep busy, so make an effort to involve them; and listen also to what they like to do. More than likely they will have an appreciation for what you do, and want to be like you. We are lucky; there is no other nation out there that volunteers like we do.
What do you consider your proudest accomplishment? Raising two fine young men who are so motivated and are achievers. And also the founding of New Born Hope. It’s literally saved thousands upon thousands of babies. All my friends and the people who have volunteered with me have really made a difference in the lives of these children.
What's in the future for Zoya Miller? Well, my new adventure is - I’m not so sure if I’m going to take it - but I would love to write a book. That’s what I see in the future.
Do you have a motto, or favorite saying - some special words to live by? “Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” And my father told me this years and years ago: “Every day is the best day of the year….” And I have to mention another favorite: “I cannot step twice in the same river for the fresh waters are forever flowing around us.”
What is the secret to having a good life? Being the philosophical person that I am, I like to have meaning to everything I do. Waking up in the morning and finding something to be happy about – taking advantage of today! And, keeping busy doing things you love….
Mrs. Miller’s Awards & Recognitions: One of only five recipients of the El Pomar Foundation’s Award for Excellence—Russell Tutt Leadership Award; the American Lung Association of Colorado Humanitarian Award; the Jefferson Award by the American Institute of Public Service; the Silver Spur Community Award by the Pikes Peak Range Riders; the Assistance League’s Silver Bell Award; the White House Points of Light Award for Newborn Hope; and the Apgar Award from the Colorado March of Dimes. She is also recognized in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in the West, and Who’s Who in the World.
Mrs. Miller’s experience in the health world is very broad as she was the Director of Research Development at the Webb-Waring Institute for Cancer, Aging, and Antioxidant Research, located on the campus of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver for many years. Other activities in the health field include serving as the Chairman of the Governor’s Colorado Health Planning Council and heading the committee of monitoring federal health legislation for the Colorado-Wyoming Regional Medical Program, which included testifying before the Congressional Senate and House Health Sub Committees. At the time, Mrs. Miller was the president of the Colorado American Lung Association. She launched a series of radio health spots for the National American Lung Association, which won 13 international broadcasting awards.