Dedicated to Helping | Teen Ink

Dedicated to Helping

September 26, 2007
By Anonymous

Dedicated to Helping

Who do I Admire? I admire Kate Bowers for many reasons. For as long as I can remember Aunt Kate has been helping troubled teens. Another reason why I admire her is because she has overcome obstacles in her life such as drug and alcohol abuse. I also admire her because she always says what’s on her mind and tells you the truth. Aunt Kate is now 53 and has one daughter; Mary, who is now 24. Aunt Kate lives in Cincinnati in a beautiful, old Victorian house. She takes great care of her house and worked really hard to restore it. Like anything she does, she gives it a 110%.
Aunt Kate attended the University of Cincinnati and then transferred to Ohio University to complete her degree at age 19. She first became interested in working with troubled teens when she got a part time job working at Mt. Alverno School for Boys at 21. The school was run by Franciscan Brothers, and Kate was the only woman to work with the boys. 60% of the boys were Black. Some had come from terrible lives and were abused .She then realized that she wanted to teach kids that were emotionally disturbed. She finished school and got a job teaching the emotionally disturbed. She found the kids interesting.
She started her own school called the Dawn School which is for teens that have problems with drugs or alcohol. The mission of the Dawn school was to reclaim the youth that are in conflict with family, school, and communities. She said, “Reclaim is the key word because most of these kids had been given up on. The key was to make them feel like they belong and show that they matter to someone. The idea is to meet the needs so they can change.” One story she told me was that a boy came up to her crying. She asked him what was wrong and he said that he found his 8 year old brother hung in the bathroom. He said that he never has told anyone and I think if Aunt Kate wasn’t there, he probably wouldn’t of told anyone and had to live with that bad memory his whole life. I think Aunt Kate made him finally fell like he could talk to someone.
Her biggest obstacles in life was overcoming the relationship with her mother or my grandma and working through the bad feelings so that she could come to terms with it. She has a bad relationship with her mom because she felt like she was picked on and that she didn’t get any attention like everyone else. She said “I wanted to feel ok as a person and not hold grudges with anyone from the past”. Her second biggest obstacle was realizing that she was hurting herself with the abuse of drugs and alcohol and she needed to stop using them entirely. She started in college and did them for a way out of everything going on. She stopped because she soon realized that she was ruining her life and she wasn’t going to get anywhere with drugs and alcohol in the way. I respect her decision for getting help because she has been sober for 31 years and has attended meetings each week. Since she has been sober, she has been able to pursue her career with helping troubled teens and the Dawn school has been opened for 7 years now.
She said her greatest influence in her life was her Daughter, Mary. “Being a parent has helped me become a better person”, she said. Mary helped her a lot because she made her communicate better and become a better person when she needed to be. Also her mentor Blanche Dawn was a big influence. Blanche Dawn was her mentor. She was very funny and was very smart. She helped her when she wanted to quit using drugs and alcohol. “She was also like a second mother to me”, she said. Kate named the school as a tribute to her friend.
Aunt Kate has many personalities. Aunt Kate is very competitive and has a lot of energy. She is a giver and also likes to help people. She is outgoing and a very loyal friend. She is also very funny. She once told me a story about her most embarrassing moment was .When she was at Ohio University, she decided to go swimming. She went into the girl’s locker room and changed into her swim suit. She then noticed that there were 25 men coming in when she was in the middle of changing. She went into the wrong bathroom and didn’t even know it. Her stories are always funny and she can keep me listening. She told me, “Whenever I make a decision, I think about the people I impact”. She also told me, “If you follow your dreams and not give up, things will finally fall into place.” Everything she told me is true, and I will always keep in mind her advice to me. She has helped many kids who needed someone to care about them and even me. That is why I have admired her for a very long time. She has done many great things and has overcome many obstacles in her life and impacted me so much with everything she has done to help people and what she has overcome.

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