By Dana Rettig, Chicago Crusader
CEO of Bowens Enterprises and author, Alicia Bowens, knows what it’s like to struggle at a young age. During her younger years, Alicia took on various family responsibilities and although described as a quiet person found ways to act out her frustrations. Bowens’ behavior eventually led to her becoming a teenage mother. Today the founder of two companies and a very successful IT professional with many other titles to her name, Bowens is determined to lead other teenage moms to success.
“In the United States, there are ten million mother-led families and 20 percent of families are headed by single mothers,” Bowens said. “Forty percent of babies are born to single mothers in the United States.”
Bowens went on to achieve accomplishments in her life however, it wasn’t until she forgave herself did her life really soar. “I never forgave myself for my actions. Once I forgave myself, I started to go further in life,” she said. “Writing Millionaire M.O.M. was important because I felt that my story and the stories of the others would inspire readers to reach for success.”
Bowens and a few of her friends decided to come together and write their narratives based on their experience as teenage mothers, struggling to raise their family alone. “L.O.V.E. for Teen Mothers was the first book I wrote, sharing my experience as a teenage mother. I was inspired to do so because of the negativity around being a teen mother regarding the false belief that when you have a baby at such a young age, your life is over,” she explained, solemnly.
“I wanted to share my story in an effort to let young mothers know that success is still possible for them. I was even more inspired to write my new book, Millionaire M.O.M. because I wanted to provide a source of encouragement for adult mothers as well. Millionaire M.O.M. (which means Mothers on a Mission) is an anthology consisting of twelve teenage mothers turned entrepreneurs and communal activists. They all share their experiences and life lessons, but the one thing that they all have in common is that it was their mindsets that they had to overcome in order to achieve success. All mothers can relate to it.”
Though it took a while to complete the book, Alicia Bowens and a few others were determined to display their gift and life for the world to read, admire and respect. “As the lead author of the book, it was my duty to recruit and select the contributing authors, coordinate events based on availability, collect, and compile authors’ chapter submissions, and lead the marketing direction,” she said, explaining the process of releasing the book. “The concept of the book came to me back in 2014, however, I didn’t start promoting the idea and recruiting authors until mid-2015. The book was released that November, with a launch the month after,” she said, adding: “The welfare system treats teenage and single mothers as a lost cause. There needs to be a component that helps to empower people to get off of assistance.”
When Alicia Bowens isn’t working, she is active in community activities focused on solving problems within society. Bowens said, “I teach Sunday school for young adults at New Faith Baptist Church International in Matteson, IL. Also, I volunteer with Brown Sons Empowered, and I’m a member of the National Black MBA Association.”
What is Alicia’s suggestion for teenage and single mothers facing obstacles, raising families? “Focus on the solution. I’d also tell them to reach out to someone that they can trust for help or advice, be open to hearing the honest truth and be courageous enough to take action.”