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For the high school yearbook editor, every detail matters.
“I could spend, like, all hours of the day in the yearbook room, I like the fact that you can be completely open with your creativity level,” said Telease Bowen, a senior at Coral Glades High School in Coral Springs. “And also, like the fact that you’re creating a book that people look back on the rest of their lives.”
Yearbook is just one of Telease’s passions. Her life is a blur of academics, extra curriculars, and community service. As one of her school’s HOSA leaders, she launched an effort to raise money for pediatric cancer research, after her own cousin died from blastoma. By selling bracelets she made herself, HOSA raised over $1,000 for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
Telease wants to become a health care professional. She plans on majoring in public health at George Washington University, which she will be attending on scholarship.
“When she sets her mind to something, she makes sure that she achieves that,” said HOSA club advisor and science teacher, Jumana Lakdawala, who says Telease is one of the best students she’s ever taught. “She’s amazing, she’s an amazing student.”
Telease was already on the path to success, taking 11 AP classes and 13 dual enrollment courses, but everything became exponentially harder when her mother passed away in junior year.
“I think she would be extremely proud of me,” Telease said, succumbing to a cascade of tears. “I think that she would be proud of how much that I was able to do for other people regardless of my situation.”
Her mom instilled that value in Telease, and everyone around her sees it.
“She’s always been the person on the other side of the phone telling me exactly what to do, how to get over these different obstacles that I’m facing, and she’s basically guiding me through life!” said classmate Sana Arif.
Fellow senior class member Xena Menezes added, “She’s just been through a lot and she deserves every ounce of happiness and everything that she gets ’cause she’s worked very hard for it and she’s just an amazing person.”
Telease is her school’s Silver Knight nominee in journalism. She stays on track despite an insane schedule, even though she lives with her college-student sister, with no parents to push her along.
Telease relies on her determination and brilliance. She also has advice for other kids who lose a parent during their high school years.
“I would say to make sure you don’t stop, because once you stop doing what you’re doing, what you’re passionate about, it’s really easy to fall behind,” Telease said.