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Daily Inspiration: Meet Deborah Bowser

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deborah Bowser.

Hi Deborah, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
As a young child, I aspired to be a teacher. I knew that I wanted to help people, especially those that no one else wanted to work with. However, in college, I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. At that time, teachers were losing their jobs due to the recession and I didn’t think it would have been wise to pursue that dream. Over the next few years, I worked in community mental health receiving invaluable experience. I worked with at-risk youth and their families. I loved my role because I was able to build relationships with the youth and be the bridge to their parents. I also worked with foster youth while managing a group home.

Each experience helped prepare me as I transitioned to an Emergency Response Social Worker with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. My time with DCFS was brief, but what I learned during my tenure was that collaboration between community partners, schools, and families are important. I wanted to help people in my community more specifically, children. I decided to return to my original aspiration and change careers and become a teacher. I began teaching in 2016 and loved it from day 1! I knew that I had found my niche. My prior work experience provided an amazing foundation that I have been fortunate enough to look back to on difficult days. Working with foster and at-risk youth taught me how to build rapport with children in meaningful ways. See the kids I had worked with in the past were used to people not caring about them. I had to work hard to help break down their tough exteriors to find out who they truly were. I used these same methods when I began teaching and had challenging students. Teaching is hard work but I love it. I knew that eventually I would expand on what I had learned in my few short years in the classroom to start something larger than myself.

As a special education teacher working in lower socio-economic areas, I realized that many families did not understand what special education is. They looked at it as a place their children go to. But many don’t know that special education is a service. That service is designed to support your child’s educational needs while they are in school. This realization is what led to Ms. Bowser’s Corner. While in undergrad at Cal State Dominguez Hills, I had a final project that required me to design a program that could be implemented in my community. That project was to design an afterschool program for children focusing on nutrition and health. I took some of those ideas from that program and adapted it into my idea of Ms. Bowser’s Corner. Ms. Bowser’s Corner provides educational support to children and families. Education is a broad concept and I don’t want to limit my services so anyone can seek a consultation. If I am able to help a family great, if not, I try and at least provide something they can utilize to help their situation. I am in the process of seeking additional tutors to help me support the families in my community. I am excited to see the progress my clients will make.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The biggest challenge I have faced is time management during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another obstacle has been providing effective virtual instruction. Many children are not thriving in the online environment, but due to COVID-19, many families are choosing virtual instruction for their sessions. I am working constantly on innovative instructional strategies to keep my clients engaged while we work online.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a Resource Specialist (Special Education Teacher). My position allows me to work with children from Kindergarten to 6th grade who have academic deficits due to learning disabilities and medical diagnoses which affect their ability to learn in a general education classroom. I have been teaching since 2016 and have taught in both elementary and secondary schools. I am often reminded of my level of patience when dealing with challenging students. My goal as an educator is to provide emotional as well as academic support to those I come in contact with. My biggest asset in my educator’s toolbox is my ability to build rapport with students that others have given up on. I believe all children have a chance and if I can be that person that helps them turn things around, I’ve done my job.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
I love that Southern California is a conglomerate of all types of people. As an educator, I am able to work with children who were born all over the world. It’s great to hear from a young child how different things are here. I also love the different community events that occur throughout the region, before COVID-19 of course. I really hope we are able to continue the events in the future. Since I do travel to see clients, traffic is my biggest headache! I see clients from Corona to Inglewood throughout the week, it’s a challenge on any given day to make it to my sessions on time!

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