In the News

The Kids Are Alright

Local youth are giving us hope for the future, featuring Audubon volunteer, Darrea Frazier

Speaking with Darrea Frazier, it’s hard to remember that she’s only 16 years old. She sits up straight in her chair in the Patterson Park Audubon Center, surrounded by turtles and taxidermied waterfowl, and talks eloquently about things like personal responsibility and community service.

In part, that’s probably because she has been volunteering across Baltimore since the age of 11, planting habitat gardens for native wildlife, drawing colorful stencils on storm drains to discourage littering, and teaching other young people about protecting the planet. It could also be because she’s a six-time National American Miss Maryland State Finalist who won Junior Teen Queen last fall. And of course, it could have something to do with the fact that she’s already a college student, too, dual enrolled at both CCBC and the Baltimore Academy of Illustration, where she’s pursuing her GED.

In each aspect of her life, Darrea is propelled forward by a need to share what she’s learned with others. Through the Audubon Center, she wants to teach city kids that it’s cool to care about nature. “You can still be a normal teenager and still really care about the environment,” she says. And with the National Miss crown, she wants to help other girls be their best selves. “It’s about growing confidence, not outer beauty,” she says. Sure, it seems to be a cliché for a pageant contestant to hope for “world peace,” but when it comes to Darrea, she actually means it, especially ecologically. --Lydia Woolever

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