Rich South senior in awe about inauguration
BY CHERYL DANGEL BARTOLINI Correspondent September 14, 2012 2:22PM
Aamir Bowens, a senior and honor student at Rich South High School in Richton Park, won a free trip to Washington, D.C., for Rich Township High School District 227’s presidential inauguration trip in 2013. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 18, 2012 6:00AM
The presidential election is shaping up as one too close to call, but Rich South High School already boasts a winner in its senior class.
Aamir Bowens, an honors student, won a free trip to Washington, D.C., for Rich Township High School District 227’s presidential inauguration trip in 2013. Bowens was selected via a nationwide raffle.
The prize is sponsored by EF Educational Tours, the tour company coordinating the historical journey for District 227 students who plan to go as members of the advanced placement U.S. history and honors history classes.
Bowens, 17, who took honors U.S. history, was eligible along with other students who took that class or AP history. Any student who registers for the trip is eligible, and there are monthly drawings.
When Bowens was an eighth-grader four years ago, he watched the inauguration on television. This time, he’ll be there in person, in the place where he also wants to attend college.
“It means a lot because I never thought I would be able to go to the inauguration. I never knew the school did an inauguration trip until this year,” Bowens said. “It will be a great experience, especially if Obama wins again.”
Bowens expects to tote his camera along. His goal is to attend Howard University in Washington and study cinematography.
His interest in cinematography was sparked when he moved to Matteson in 2004 and started attending New Faith Baptist Church, where services are filmed. But he didn’t pick up a camera until 2010, when he got the opportunity to operate a roaming camera at the church.
“I walk around the sanctuary filming,” Bowens said.
His dream is to get a bachelor’s degree in cinematography and a master’s in business administration so he can start his own business and make music videos for concerts.
Meanwhile, he will work hard at keeping up his grades.
He concedes that history isn’t his best subject, even though he takes the honors-level course. He prefers math, and his schedule includes studying calculus and molecular biology at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights — both of which earn him college credit — and AP psychology and African-American literature (honors) at Rich South.
He also plays percussion in band, and attended the Summer Olympics in London, where the Rich South marching band performed at events surrounding the Games.
“It was great. We met a lot of new people. They treated us like we were famous because they don’t see a lot of marching bands in London,” Bowens said. “They’d say, ‘Wow! It is a real marching band!’ ”
Bowens said his mother, Alicia Bowens, is his mentor.
“She had me at a young age and I had to grow up early,” he said. “I was really responsible, independent for my age, and she helped me with that.”
He also works part time as a building attendant at the Richton Park Community Center three or four days a week while dreaming of his future.
“I really want to get into cinematography. I know that if I want to get to that level, I have to do good in school and push myself even when I don’t want to,” he said.