Mike Miriello ('09M)
Photographer, children's advocate
Mike ('09M) and Megan Miriello want to help kids just be kids, even when they're in very adult situations like the emergency room. "It's both scary and boring for kids to be in the hospital," Mike says. "If they have access to video games, it might add a few smiles to their day." The Miriellos learned this when Megan's 8-year-old brother spent several weeks in the hospital, but now the academic community agrees; International studies say video games provide much-needed distractions, and a calm, cooperative child may receive fewer sedatives prior to procedures like chemotherapy or surgery. Dedicating an hour a day and some space in their garage, the Miriellos are building video game carts — a flat-screen TV, Nintendo Wii, wireless controllers, lock box and a rolling cart — and donating to hospitals like Rockingham Memorial in Harrisonburg. "For me, giving my time is very fulfilling," says Mike. "I'm more than happy to do so on a daily basis." The Miriellos have formed the nonprofit PlayTime to work with local organizations like the Kiwanis Club to donate more game carts to hospitals. Mike is a freelance photographer and graduate of the College Student Personnel Administration graduate program.
"Many people have ideas, few act on them, and even fewer have the support to make it a reality."