Mya Bowen first left her mark on the University of Hartford as an undergraduate student in the late 1990s. A cum laude graduate with a degree in business administration, she is now the perfect example that you don’t have to wait to make a difference through planned giving.
Bowen, 36, has established the Mya T. Bowen Business Scholarship for black/African American female business students. The scholarship fits with the focus of the University’s current campaign to raise more money for student financial aid.
In addition to her scholarship fund, Bowen has also made a planned gift by naming the University of Hartford as a beneficiary of her life insurance policy. She has been a Founders’ Society member since 2013 and is a regular attendee at Founders’ Society events.
“I couldn’t have attended Hartford without the financial aid I received,” said Bowen. “Now I want to give back so that today’s students can benefit the way I did.”
Bowen’s family lived in poverty as she was growing up in Hartford. She and her brother were raised by their single mother who was physically disabled after suffering a serious injury while working a blue-collar job. Bowen’s mother stressed the importance of education to both of her children. Bowen knew at an early age how important her education was to her.
“I think it was around sixth grade that I found out what college was, and I knew I wanted to go in that direction,” said Bowen.
Bowen earned her GED and started attending the University of Hartford as a scholarship recipient when she was just 17 years old. The combination of a generous financial aid package and the close proximity to home made Hartford the right choice for her.
Looking back, Bowen thought she would immediately enter the job market when she graduated in 2000. But her undergraduate studies became a springboard to furthering her education as a postgraduate.
“When I was a sophomore or junior I was so ready to start working,” said Bowen. “I grew up in poverty, so I had intended to immediately get a job and earn some money, but about a month after I graduated I received a fellowship letter inviting me to take part in graduate studies at the Barney School. When they offered me that along with an internship I couldn’t say no.”
Becoming a Barney School Fellow changed Bowen’s life path. Through hard work and perseverance she went on to earn master’s degrees in professional accounting and business administration while also serving as an adjunct professor at Hillyer College from 2003-2005. She received her doctorate in educational leadership in 2013.
“I’ve learned that I have a passion for education,” said Bowen. “I love to learn and I love to teach.” Today, students at the American Institute (formerly known as Fox Institute of Business) in West Hartford are benefiting from her passion. Bowen is the Program Director and Lead Instructor of the school’s Computer, Networking, and Security Program. She prepares students to meet the challenges of technology in today’s business world.
Bowen is influencing the lives of students every day. Through planned giving, she will continue to impact lives in perpetuity.
“The decision to make a planned gift was very important to me,” said Bowen. “I want to leave a legacy where somebody else benefits when I’m gone.”