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LaKe'Sha R. Bowen, '10: A Better Life for Her Son

May 13, 2010

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LaKe'Sha Bowen and her son, Chyim

An unbeatable mother and son team. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

When LaKe’Sha R. Bowen of Albany crosses the stage at UAlbany’s commencement on May 16, her 10-year-old son Chyim will be watching. And that’s exactly the idea.

"Education is the key to spiritual, financial, and personal success,” said Ms. Bowen, a non-traditional EOP transfer student with a 3.77 GPA whose work was mentioned in Distinguished Teaching Professor Warren Roberts’ Times Union blog. Roberts credits his student with having “insatiable curiosity” for learning.

Bowen, a single mother, is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in world history with a concentration in East Asian studies.

What experience has meant the most to her at UAlbany?

“The two that stand out in my heart and mind the most are being a student of Dr. Warren Roberts and becoming a part of the EOP (Educational Opportunity Program) family,” Bowen said.

She has taken three classes from Roberts, most recently Art, Music and History II. “I absolutely admire his teaching style which is always seasoned with a mixture of love for humanity, passion for what he is teaching, and a heartfelt kindness that can’t be put into words. He saw my hidden potential even when I could not,” she said.

LaKe'Sha Bowen is working toward a better life for her son, Chyim.

LaKe'Sha Bowen teaches her son Chyim that education is the key to success. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

In his March 9 post, Roberts praised Bowen for a paper she submitted, saying he hasn’t seen anything like it in 47 years of teaching. He said she sits in the front of the class and is always alert, “tuned in all the way.” Chyim has accompanied his mother to class on occasion.

In the EOP, counselor Patrick Romain “has been very inspirational,” always pushing her to be the best she can be. Romain and the EOP office “provide a safe haven where students from diverse backgrounds can feel welcome and feel free to express themselves.”

“A wise woman once said, ‘My family has always been rich, we just never had any money.’ My sentiments exactly,” said Bowen. “Poverty has been my family’s frequent companion yet my family is rich with blessings from Jehovah God.” In addition to love and faith, “knowledge is the only gift that I can give my son which can never be stolen and will enrich his life by strengthening his mind.”

Bowen’s long-term goal is to earn a master’s degree from UAlbany and become a history teacher.

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