Fleurian Filkins grew up near Keuka Lake in New York state, before transferring to Finger Lakes Community College to finish high school and earn associate degrees in Psychology and Liberal Arts & Sciences. During their time at community college, they engaged in queer community building and environmental advocacy, with a focus on gardening. Upon transferring to SUNY Geneseo to pursue a B.A. in Psychology, they became heavily involved in campus sustainability, serving as an Ecological Representative, a co-chair of Food Security Advocates, and a member of the President's Commission on Sustainability. In these positions, they wrote a policy proposal to put a food pantry on campus, co-developed a student-run food pantry delivery program, and obtained a grant to fund the creation of an indoor vertical garden.