Master Sgt. Lisa Miller recently visited female student athletes from Rock Canyon High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo., to discuss the benefits and opportunities afforded through a career in the U.S. Air Force.

Miller presented her career story to members of the school’s volleyball, cheerleading, and soccer teams, sharing her reasons for joining and the positive experiences she has had over her 17 years in service.

“I decided to join the Air Force after not really wanting to go to college but wanting to get out of my hometown and make something of myself,” she said. “The Air Force has provided me with lifelong skills to use after I retire in a couple years, and free education. Not to mention the healthcare to take care of my family.”

Tom Brieske, athletic director at Rock Canyon High School, said the students who attended Miller’s presentation, which is part of a leadership program facilitated by DistrictWON, a U.S. Air Force partner for marketing and local engagement, were attentive to everything Miller shared.

“I thought the message was really good. We have a very high percentage of our seniors who are on a college bound path but the talk opened their eyes to a different option that they may not have known they have,” Brieske said. “I think it is vital to hear all the options that are available to our students as they seek what may be best for them and their families.”

Miller addressed the girls’ questions about military life and highlighted the work-life balance that she and several of her colleagues have experienced.

“You’ll receive exactly the same training, vocational development and promotion opportunities as your male colleagues,” Miller said. “Most Air Force jobs have regular hours, giving you plenty of opportunities to socialize, spend time with your family, play sports and make the most of the extensive fitness and leisure facilities on base. You’ll make friends for life, at work and at play, plus through amazing shared experiences such as supporting peacekeeping and disaster-relief missions.”

The Air Force believes integration and diversity are important, Miller said, and that each woman who joins the service comes from a different background and therefore brings a distinct skillset and a unique perspective to the team.

“The opportunities that exist in the Air Force for women are amazing. You could come in and do an enlistment if you’re not sure about it and come out with an associate degree, many skillsets to use on the outside, lifelong friends, and an experience many of your friends would never be able to get,” Miller told the girls. “And if you want to keep going in your career in the Air Force, you can make your own way. This is your path and nobody can change the trajectory of your career but you!”