Deb Bowen Exchange

Nimra from Pakistan Volunteers

Nimra from Pakistan Volunteers

Nimra volunteered with Deb Bowen at a Love Like Lorraine presentation at a regional meeting for Lutherans. They donated both purses and item to fill them. Afterward, we filled over 100 purses and game them to people in need.

WWII Veteran Ray Fairbank

WWII Veteran Ray Fairbank

Ray cutting up with kids from Senegal, Croatia, Spain and Liberia.

President Lincoln & Exchange

President Lincoln & Exchange

A favorite educational enhancement is taking students through the Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, IL. There, we use Abe Lincoln as a leadership role model. Students go home and tell us years later that they will never forget that day and Lincoln's story. It's that powerful. #rolemodel #greatpresident

Exchange Kids with Survivor Eva Schloss

Exchange Kids with Survivor Eva Schloss

Nizla from Mozembique, Qadrah from Tanzania, Beate from Latvia and Rangga from Indonesia met living history. They learned about Anne Frank's diary and a woman who actually knew Anne.

Steen Metz Jewish Survivor

Steen Metz Jewish Survivor

Students from Poland, Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique, Azerbaijan and Senegal listened intently when Mr. Metz shared his powerful story. Maria from Poland wrote a book for the Hero Series. Her hero served on the ground team for Chuck Yeager when he exceeded the speed of sound.

Mwalimu's Dream - Clean Water

Mwalimu's Dream - Clean Water

This Kenyan told us about the stagnant pond where his mom walked for water for his family to drink. "Deb Bowen was a very important pillar in realization of my well project. She worked tirelessly organizing fundraising events as well as bringing the project awareness through social media. Her bringing real life stories of human rights gave my story a stepping stone on which "Mwalimu’s Dream" came to life. All monies obtained from selling the books proceeded to the project". Mwalimu Kaingu

Habiba from Ghana Cares

Habiba from Ghana Cares

An exchange student named Habiba was thrilled when her American high school received a set of books from a donor. She had never read firsthand accounts of WWII before and you can tell by the post she put on social media, she was thrilled. A little social justice champion in the making!

African Mission

African Mission

Dell from Malaysia cleans donated eyeglasses to send with a mission team to Kenya. Spring 2019 Why Donate Glasses? The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that of the 153 million people worldwide who have poor vision, 138 million or 90% live in African, Asian or Latin American countries. This is because in many of these countries people cannot afford the cost of a simple pair of eyeglasses. Sadly, more than 4 million pairs of eyeglasses are discarded every year in the U.S.A.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos

Nana Lee, a refugee student who attends United Township HS, Deb Bowen and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos celebrate International Day of the Woman together. 2019

Welcome Adela from Romania Fall 2019

Welcome Adela from Romania Fall 2019

Each year in August students arrive in America to greet their new host family and attend an American high school. Host families are always needed. Please email Deb at abookbyme@gmail.com if interested.

Food Pantry Collections

Food Pantry Collections

Volunteers from Malaysia and Ecuador collect food for area food pantry.

Hygiene Kits

Hygiene Kits

Hawa from Liberia came to the US as an exchange student in 2015-16. Deb Bowen was her Local Coordinator. She was given a kit to take home and use. In February of 2019, she received 100 kits to share with the women and girls of her remote village. Hawa was empowered and now she has learned what it feels like to empower other women.

​Exchange impacts every exchange student differently. Our schools are not like their schools back home. The electives we take for granted here are not available to them. This girl from Latvia benefited greatly from show choir at her school in Iowa.

Her choir teacher saw her gifting was operatic and started giving her private lessons. This video was taken in Europe at a contest where she came in 2nd place. Her life changed because of the FLEX exchange program. One day Beate may be a star because of exchange.

Mohamed Fall from Senegal

"Serving your community is an essential part of life. It’s a value that every human being needs to have. Deb Bowen is one person who implemented those values in me and am sure she has implemented it into a lot of other young people like me. She inspired and still inspires me every day with each of her very impactful moves.

 

There's a book shortage in Africa. Deb and I talked about how reading was important and more for kids and how she would love to see kids from my home (Senegal) profit of books and be able to read as they wanted and be happy. So we started talking to teachers and others in the USA asking them to help us buy books in French. 

 

We succeeded and collected more than 20 books for kids. It was amazing for a start. When I got back home, using those books to make Deb’s vision a real thing was priority.

 

So I used the books and had a book club which goes on every Wednesday. The impact is huge and Deb was the initiator and cause of it all. Kids were so delighted and happy for this opportunity. Those kids are better intellectually today thanks to those books.

 

It all started with Deb’s vision and commitment to making of her vision a reality. That is the type of human being she is and that we need to make of our world a better place to live on."

Mohamed Fall

Senegal

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"I'm passing along the lessons from the Greatest Generation and others who have lived through hardship to future generations. Our subject's humility, sense of responsibility, and work ethic are inspiring. Having a student interview someone with a powerful story to tell is the greatest gift I can give them and those who will one day read their book." Deb Bowen