Last updated: August 23. 2013 10:25PM - 341 Views

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LIMA February marks Black History Month in the United States, but area black leaders remind us there are historic figures still doing good work in the region.

This week, The Lima News profiles five of those inspirational community leaders, Frank Lamar, Ann Miles, Chris Jackson, Beverly McCoy and the Rev. Bob Horton. Today we look at Miles.

Ann Miles

When Ann Miles retired from Whirlpool, she had two choices: Enjoy her retirement to its fullest or commit her full attention and time to serving the Lima community.

She chose the latter.

A member of the Lima City School board for 10 years, shes done her fair share to contribute to the community. Shes a Lima Senior High School graduate and is very involved in the YMCA Black Achievers program, which focuses on middle and high school black children, preparing them to further their education post-high school graduation, including tutoring.

She also is an advocate for Activate Allen County, which was a grant dedicated to making the county healthier.

Growing up, there were so many people who were influential in my life, said Miles, now 58. I still remember my fourth-grade teacher. She probably does not realize the impact she had on my life, how she encouraged me and really spoke into my life. Its because of those people that helped me get through life, because Ive had a good life, I want to do the same for others.

Shes also a member of the board for Family Promise, which provides housing for families that do not have housing. Shes also served on the LACCA board.

She was born in Mississippi, but came to Lima when she was less than a year old. During her time in Lima, she spent 37 years at Whirlpool in the finance department, retiring three years ago.

Its been so great because Ive met a lot of great people in this community over the years and the different boards and activities Ive done, she said. I really have enjoyed it. Its opened a lot of doors for me.

The eldest of 10 children, she never had a lot of opportunities for herself. Thats why she has since created them by serving the community.

The opportunities Ive had and the settings Ive been in, I would have never dreamed of, she said. To think that I can sit in a meeting with people in this community and they seek my advice, thats heartwarming, its humbling.

She loves the children of Lima, which is the main reason why she does what she does.

I have a heart for the kids here in the Lima community, she said. Just trying to give these kids some hope, its why I do it.

Black history is something she also wants to make sure is being hit hard in Lima City Schools year-round, not just in February.

Its so important. It bothers me sometimes that we pick one month per year to really highlight it, she said. I hope the teachers in the schools do it justice. I really think it should be something thats hit on throughout the year. Weve got to know where we come from to know where were going.

Miles said she only hopes to continue to serve the Lima community in the coming years.

Ann Miles
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