Why she’s interesting: Flowers works to provide mental health services and counseling to adolescents in schools and at summer camps, as well as professional development to Northeast Ohio educators, youth and families. The curriculum she created to help teenage girls build self-esteem and coping skills is now being used throughout area schools. Her goal for 2019 is to reach at least 25,000 new girls.
Girls, Girls, Girls: Making a Difference Consulting began as a part-time gig for Flowers. She was working as a social worker in schools, but found that in the summer, students were not getting the enrichment and support they needed. So she started running her own summer workshops. “Initially I was only working with girls, but I saw that the boys needed the same support.”
The Circle of Life: From a young age, Flowers felt called to help others. “I grew up in an impoverished environment. There was a lot of drugs and alcohol in the community.” Despite this, Flowers graduated as valedictorian from Collinwood High School. “I wanted to work with kids from a similar environment as me, so they would know your circumstances don’t have to stop your progress and growth.”
Book Club: Throughout high school, Flowers worked at Cleveland Public Library’s Memorial-Nottingham branch in North Collinwood. As a teenager, she raced through The Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High series. “A lot of the issues [in the series] were things that were happening with my own friends. It was a different population in the books, but I could still relate to them. The fact that they didn’t always have a happy ending made them more realistic.”
Good Grief: In 2015, Flowers wrote and released her own children’s book, Footprints in the Sky, about a child dealing with the loss of her father. “I see a lot of kids in my office that have lost a lot of people. There were not a lot of books out there with characters that looked like the kids I was working with. I wanted to create a book that was diverse, but also gave them coping skills on how to deal with loss.”
Express Yourself: Flowers’ brother is a local hip-hop artist, who performs under the name Caine. Until three years ago, when he started getting more international gigs, Flowers moonlighted as his music manager. “I still code his music for digital platforms, write contracts and help with his apparel line.”
Interesting Fact: 10,000: Number of Cleveland-area students and families Making a Difference Consulting has reached.