Growing up, I was quite the little tomboy. Much to my mother’s chagrin, I’d much rather hang out with my father under the hood of his Buick and go to baseball games than play dolls with my sister or learn how to cook a “proper meal.” But every once in a while, my mother managed to bribe me into wearing a frilly party dress (see the very incriminating Exhibit A, top right) and spending a torturous Saturday afternoon at the Dominican salon getting my hair straightened. When given a choice, however, a pair of baggy jeans, a roomy sweatshirt and the not-always-so-neatly- pulled-together ponytail was my go-to look of the day.

Over the years, I’ve traded in the sneakers for stilettos and my current favorite pair of jeans is actually tailored for a perfect fit. But no worries, Dad; you’re still my go-to guy when it comes to anything about cars or the Yankees. Promise.

Now, while my parents allowed my sister and me to express our personal style as we saw fit, one non-negotiable in the Miller household was education. It was always made clear that my primary responsibility was to do my best in school and take advantage of all the opportunities afforded to me. Although there’s value in a stylish appearance, nothing trumps a beautiful mind; that’s one of the reasons putting together this year’s Fashion and Education issue was so enjoyable.

Read more in the September 2014 issue of EBONY Magazine.