Celeste Flores was born and raised in Lake County, Illinois and has been a lifelong member of Most Blessed Trinity Parish in Waukegan. While a student at Bellarmine University in Kentucky, Celeste saw the devastation of Mountaintop removal and became involved in environmental justice. After graduation, she spent a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Appalachia then returned to Lake County, where she discovered local opportunities for environmental work.
Celeste began as a volunteer with Clean Power Lake County working to develop a transition plan for the coal-fired electric generating plant in Waukegan along the shore of Lake Michigan. Her commitment to this work led her to become the lead organizer for CPLC. In that capacity, Celeste’s work with frontline community members has drawn national attention to the environmental injustices associated with a fossil fuel economy. She has built strong relationships with varied coalition partners and elected officials and has continually championed the need for a sensible transition plan to move Waukegan toward a clean and sustainable energy future.
Celeste was the recipient of Gaudium et Spes 2017 Award given by the Consejo Hispano Arquidiócesis de Chicago (Archdiocese of Chicago) at the Noche de Gala, an annual dinner recognizing leaders in Hispanic ministry in the Archdiocese.
Celest currently serves as the Lake County outreach director for Faith in Place. Where she is able to unite her passion for environmental justice with her Faith to create a just and sustainable world for all people. Celeste has a particular passion for developing leadership skills among members of underrepresented communities and challenging them to greater civic engagement.