Megan Bowers smiles and begins her story. “My life was pretty normal until I was 15. My brothers and I were happy. We had parents, a house, and never had to worry about if we’d have a place to sleep. When my parent’s addiction deepened, everything fell apart.”
Megan assumed the parental role. Her focus became keeping the family together. “My biggest fear was the Ministry of Children and Family Development separating us. We needed to look normal.”
Always there, always caring
Focused on others, Megan barely graduated high school. “I was entirely focused on everybody else, making sure they were okay. That was easier than facing how I was feeling.”
In 2011, Megan’s mom, Jaeson, went missing for three months. Megan searched constantly to no avail. Jaeson returned eventually and got sober, “I could not have done it without Megan. If the world is looking for a hero, Megan is it,” Jaeson shares.
Megan finds her passion
After supporting her mom through recovery, Megan began to look for a career with purpose. “My superpower has always been helping people.” Megan found Lookout Housing and Health Society. At Lookout, her care and empathy were recognized. Megan’s supervisor, writes, “I was struck by Megan’s empathetic, calm approach. I witnessed her de-escalate people in distress with compassion.”
After a lifetime of helping others, it was time for Megan to help herself. “My friends asked what I wanted in life. I said, to go to school in a field I’m passionate about, one where I could use the skills I have.” Megan found Stenberg College. “I was shown a video of what a Therapeutic Recreation Assistant (TRA) does. It felt like the universe was telling me, ‘Here is your career!’”
The place that changed her
Megan’s journey to graduation was marked with personal growth. “My educational experience was life-changing – from my instructors, to my classmates, and the connections I made with residents during practicum.”
“My practicum was invaluable. I made real connections with the residents and it felt amazing brightening someone’s day. My supervisor still texts me messages from the residents.” The relationships Megan fosters are profound. She takes the time to really know the whole person. Megan now has the career that she wanted: purposeful, passion-driven and bringing joy to older adults.
Get this girl a cape
Megan Bowers is a hero in every sense of the word. Her brother, who has been her biggest supporter and inspiration, says it best. “Megan, you are a beast. Not all superheroes wear capes, but let’s get you one.”
Feeling inspired? Visit Stenberg’s website to learn more about the Therapeutic Recreation Assistant program.