“There are life lessons to be learned here especially if you take the time and listen,” she said.
Working at Promise gave Flowers — a mom to three boys — a chance to get to know and learn about young women.
“I tell them: ‘Just be mindful once you walk out these doors to what you really want in life and to strive for that. Set your goals, and set them high.’”
Asked what she has learned, Flowers said, “To listen more. And respect. If you don’t respect [students], you can’t expect them to respect you.”
After decades in St. Nicholas, Flowers said Harlem Children’s Zone has changed the neighborhood, providing new parks for the children and adding a feeling of safety so neighbors can come out again to sit on benches. She said it feels “amazing” to be part of that transformation. “I feel great because we really needed it.”
One of her favorite jobs is working at the Harlem Harvest farmers market, greeting her St. Nicholas neighbors as HCZ staff give out free fruits and vegetables. “It feels good to know that I’m helping my neighbors, the same ones I see every day and some of them I’ve grown up with.”
Whatever her duties, Flowers always gives everyone a friendly greeting. “You never know — a ‘good morning’ or a ‘hello’ can brighten somebody’s day, she said, adding, “We never know what kind of day they had when they left their house that morning.”