Nichole Millage, Public Works Environmental Sustainability Specialist, was selected to represent Centennial High School as a Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation Distinguished Alumni Honoree for 2023.
Nichole is a 1995 graduate of Centennial High School, has travelled the world representing Centennial, Champaign-Urbana, and the USA as a four-time Paralympian. After losing her leg just below the knee when she was 21 in a boating accident, Nichole says she “discovered” sitting volleyball while volunteering at a camp for children with disabilities in 2004.
A former middle hitter on the Charger volleyball team, Nichole eventually accepted an opportunity to train with the US Paralympic Sitting Volleyball in Edmond, Oklahoma. She completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Central Oklahoma while competing and traveling across the globe. Before retiring from competition in 2021, Nichole competed in four Paralympics (Beijing, London, Rio, and Tokyo) winning two gold and two silver medals for Team USA.
She continues to serve as an athlete representative on the United States Olympic Committee and currently works at the City of Champaign as an Environmental Sustainability Specialist in the Public Works Department. “Growing up in Champaign (Kenwood, Jefferson, Centennial) I was grateful for the recreational volleyball and softball programs at the Champaign Park district. I practically lived at Sholem pool. Before my accident, I took a lot of things for granted. My accident helped me see the bigger picture and has provided me with so many unimaginable opportunities.”