Following God’s Path Leads Bowen in a New Direction
When Maia Bowen got in trouble as a little girl, her mother didn’t take away her TV time or toys when she was grounded – she took away her books.
Bowen has been reading everything and anything since she can remember. If she forgot to bring a book somewhere, she would find a menu or a cereal box to read – anything to transport her mind to a different world, even if it was just the world of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
“Whenever I went through a hard time as a child, I could step into a different world,” Bowen said. “I’ve always want to share those worlds with people who feel like reading is the only thing they have.”
Pursuing Her Passions
As Bowen approached college, selecting a major proved to be an easy choice. She felt strongly that following God’s path for her life meant becoming a publisher. So Bowen chose a bachelor’s degree in English and minors in marketing and management. But while her major choice was simple, Bowen had some doubts and fears about attending college as a first-generation student. She was the first in her family to step into college directly out of high school, and the “step” felt more like a giant leap.
Much to her surprise, Bowen found college to be exactly what she needed, both academically and personally. She experienced a wealth of support from her mom and the campus community. And in terms of preparing for her career, she couldn’t have been more pleased with her experience at Grace.
Her courses for her bachelor’s degree in English explored thought-provoking topics, afforded her mentor-relationships with her professors, and connected her with a plethora of opportunities on and off campus. Bowen thrived as a student.
Even during her senior year, when Bowen faced three deaths in her family and back-to-back surgeries, she continued to work hard in her classes and pour herself into her senior thesis. Her passion didn’t go unnoticed.
Around this time, Bowen ran into one of her former professors, Jacqueline Schram, at the student involvement office one day. “We ended up talking about my senior thesis,” Bowen remembered. “When she saw how much I loved my topic, she decided to come to the presentation.”
After the presentation, Schram approached Bowen and shared that she thoroughly enjoyed it and that her love for English was evident.
“I’m inspired by Maia’s passion for literature,” Schram said. “Not only does her passion awaken my desire to read more, but it reminds me of the reality of human experience reflected in the pages of literature.”
Looking back, Bowen claims, “I never felt so secure in my major until that moment.” She really felt as though she was following God’s path for her life.
As her senior year came to an end, Bowen looked around at the strong relationships she had built at Grace, and she knew she couldn’t leave yet. So she applied for a position as an assistant resident director at Grace which allowed her to pursue an MBA degree online tuition free.
Following God’s Path
Almost finished with her Master’s in Business Administration, Bowen is making headway on her path to her long-term goal of becoming a publisher. But as she’s sought direction from the Lord about her next step, she’s been surprised to see where he is leading.
“I still have dreams of becoming a publisher, but something that has always been heavy on my heart is the ability to create diverse and equitable relationships in higher education,” said Bowen. “It is no secret that there are not many African Americans in education – especially in higher ed. With this in the back of my mind and with recent life events, I have decided to first pursue a career in Residence Life.”
When Bowen looks back on her undergraduate experience, she wishes that she had someone that came from a similar background to help her get through the tough times and celebrate her accomplishments. With God on her side, she aspires to follow God and be that person for many others.
“I cannot express the many ways that God has guided my life to push me toward this decision, and I know that it is just the beginning,” said Bowen. “The main thing that Grace has instilled in me is to look to God and seek his guidance before pursuing one plan.”
Bowen is following God’s path with confidence.
This is the way of Grace.
Come to Grace, where you will be guided as you pursue your passions, but most importantly, you will be encouraged to follow God’s unique path for you!