Middie homecoming queen using honor to help youngsters

Au’Lauren Million, a Middletown High School senior and the recent winner of the school’s homecoming queen crown, helps youngsters at Wildwood Elementary learn to read. MICHAEL D. CLARK/STAFF
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Au’Lauren Million, a Middletown High School senior and the recent winner of the school’s homecoming queen crown, helps youngsters at Wildwood Elementary learn to read. MICHAEL D. CLARK/STAFF

Rather than bask in the afterglow of winning the honor of being voted Middletown High School’s homecoming queen, this year’s winner had a different plan.

Senior Au’Lauren Million is a long-time school volunteer working with youngsters in the Butler County city’s school system.

Being picked last month as homecoming queen was an opportunity, Million said, to ramp up her volunteer work and use the high-profile honor to capture the attention and perhaps inspire even more young girls and boys.

“It (volunteering) came naturally to me to give back to the community and it is has always been something I’ve done since I was a young girl,” said Au’Lauren, who is also the vice president of student government, runs track for the Middies and sings in the school’s show choir among her many activities.

Homecoming “is a testimony” opportunity, said Au’Lauren, “it’s not just a popularity contest. As a homecoming queen you should be a servant leader and an ambassador for your school.”

Middletown Schools spokeswoman Destini Burns said Au’Lauren epitomizes the ideal of a homecoming queen being a true student leader.

“Au’Lauren is a great example of Middie pride,” Burns said.

“Au’Lauren has a platform to turn the crown into more than just a title,” said Burns.

Million is starting Crown Academy, which focuses on community service and leadership as the Homecoming Queen. So far, she has volunteered at Wildwood Elementary and talked to students about bullying, breast cancer awareness and the district’s Learning Is Cool initiative.

Middletown High School Principal Carmela Cotter said she couldn’t be more proud of her winning senior.

“She is indeed a beauty queen. But, most importantly, Au’Lauren’s inner beauty shines through as she works with true dedication toward helping others,” Cotter said. “She is kind, selfless, and always at the ready to take on a project that will benefit others.”

Some of Million’s charitable tendency may be genetic.

Her mother, Anedra Million, is a veteran Middletown teacher and her classroom at Wildwood Elementary is often the site of her daughter’s volunteer efforts. This week her daughter was there helping youngsters learn how to read.

“I’ve always talked to my children about the importance of being a servant leader,” said Anedra Million, herself a Middletown High School graduate. “Once she won the crown she knew she wanted to elevate her platform with the crown.”

That homecoming crown acts as another pathway to help, Au’Lauren said.

“Being a homecoming queen is more than just getting a crown and a banner and then being done with it all. You should take that crown and banner and be a voice for the voiceless … wherever you can make a positive impact,” she said.