MSW Student Anthony Bowden Publishes Book to Promote Literacy
Anthony Bowden is a native of College Park, Georgia and expects to graduate from Silver's MSW program in May ’16. Prior to his graduate studies in social work, Anthony earned a bachelor of science in behavior analysis from Savannah State University and a master’s degree in educational management. During the early years of his career, Anthony lived and worked in Washington, D.C. Inspired to combat the issue of literacy; Anthony wrote his debut book, The Day Jake Went to College. His current field placement is at NYU Lutheran/Intake, and his primary focus is trauma with minority youth.
SS: Why did you decide to publish a book?
AB: Before enrolling in graduate school, I worked with students in an inner city school district. While working with these youth, I realized a countless number of them were unable to read. I encountered teenagers who read at second and third-grade levels. I felt compelled to do something about it.
Not only did I want to write to promote literacy, but I also wanted kids of color to see themselves in a book. In extremely impoverished areas, children aren't reading, let alone finding books with characters that look like them. I believe that youth would be more encouraged to pick up the book and read it if the characters looked more like them. I just wanted to inspire more reading amongst minority youth.
SS: How did you balance writing the book and finding a publisher with your MSW studies?
AB: It was a difficult process. I started this project a year ago, which was my first year in the program. So while I was adjusting to a new city, school, and people, I was also dedicating time to this project. I reserved all of my spare time to completing my book.
SS: Did you find any inspiration for Josh and Jake’s stories from your MSW coursework?
AB: I did. The story is about one character’s feelings about the other. Social work is all about feelings and emotions. This book embodies social work from the social and emotional aspect.
SS: Do you plan to write another book?
AB: I plan on doing a series with my book. The world of literature needs more books with diverse characters, and I plan on filling that void.
SS: What advice would you give to students who are considering if a master’s in social work is right for them?
AB: I have grown tremendously while in the Silver Social Work program. I would advise students to think about why they are getting into social work, and ask them what is it that they want to get out of social work.
SS: Are you hoping that children of color will read your book? What does this book mean to you and ultimately, your future clients?
AB: This book was written for young kids of all races, and I would love for everyone including adults to read this book. There is something in it for everyone.
I would encourage everyone to understand the importance of literacy – not only children but adults as well. As a social worker, it has an enormous impact on the work we do with our clients. Lastly, I want to thank Dr. Michael Lindsey for all of his words of encouragement throughout this process.
Josh and Jake are best friends who do everything together. But when one of them goes away to college, the other doesn't know what to do with himself. See how friendship and love bring these two back together.