LIMA — On top of balancing being a senior at Lima Senior High School, Aubree Flowers spends much of her time advocating for others.
Her sophomore year, Flowers decided to get more involved in her school. She is now actively part of Lima Senior’s DECA program where she has helped to spearhead The JOY Project, a campaign dedicated to the inclusion of all diversities.
“Really what made me want to get involved with the community is because I’ve always been a really outgoing person, and I just really love being around people and being social,” Flowers explained. “My eighth-grade year, I was involved in the Miss Opportunity pageant where I was first runner-up and that’s how everybody got to know me, and I just went from there. I just love helping others.”
For her DECA project last year, Flowers and her teammates did a project with Men’s Wearhouse to provide free tuxedo rentals to the boys going to Night to Shine, a national project organizing prom-night experiences for those with disabilities. The project got her to the DECA national conference, where she was also set to appear this year prior to its cancellation.
Flowers is also president of the school’s Black Student Union and involved in Ohio Youth-Led and Big Spartans Little Spartans, all while maintaining and 4.0 GPA and a part-time job. Through these organizations, Flowers has helped organize activities like Buddy Walk, Diva’s Den and Night to Shine. Most of her efforts are focused on helping other minorities.
“I just feel like I’m a minority myself, so I want to help other minorities. Being a female is a minority in itself and then being an African American is a huge aspect of being a minority,” she said. “I think I’m really most proud of volunteering with Night to Shine — just being able to see their faces light up when you dance with them and when you’re able to bond with them on an everyday basis.”
Christina Hood has been Flowers’ teacher and DECA adviser for two years. She nominated her student for the award because of the role model she has become not only within her district, but with Hood’s own family.
“The JOY Project really started as a Down Syndrome awareness campaign because of my youngest daughter,” Hood said. “I have two younger daughters myself that really look up to her. I don’t know that she realizes how many younger girls see what she’s doing and want to follow in a positive person’s footsteps like that.
“She’s always looking for ways to be involved and to help others and recognition isn’t something that she’s worried about, so being able to get honored is something really exciting for her and very well-deserved,” Hood added.
Upon graduation, Flowers plans to attend Alabama A&M University to major in business. She is already in the process of building her own cosmetic line, Flowrosé.
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.