Self Portrait, 2012
Kendra L. Bowers of Newport, RI was the youngest sister of three. Although born with a rare medical condition, she learned to adapt and manage. To her great credit there was little that she allowed to get in her way when she was determined to do something. In her 19 short years, she grew into a life-embracing girl who loved to travel, to laugh, wear a costume and to sing. Her love of music led her to become a regular attendee at the Newport Folk Fest with her sisters each year. In Kendra we had someone true to her unique herself. She was a loyal friend, a loving babysitter, a discreet confidant and devoted environmentalist. She loved the Spanish language and music. Kendra enjoyed cooking and food and had a special affinity for ice cream–perhaps the proximity to Ben and Jerry’s drew her to VT! Kendra was extremely close to her family, which she loved above all, including her furry buddies Marley and Rosie.
Kendra’s high school years were spent at St. George’s School,Newport, RI, where for 4 years she sung in the choir and with the Snapdragon a capella group. She baked cookies for the boys soccer team in her role of team manager, and helped spearhead the creation of St. George’s student prom. At UVM, Kendra continued to sing with the Zest a capella group; while focusing her academics on environmental studies she created a water conservancy awareness program her sophomore year. At Singing Eagle Lodge, her beloved summer camp in New Hampshire, she became a Captain of her Birch team, a member of the Leadership Council, and a valued counselor in charge of the dining hall and waterfront.
Kendra – A Snapdragon, a Zestie, and a Birch
Kendra, the “Green Police”
In her short life, Kendra fulfilled many roles but the common thread running through her different layers were her environmental inclinations. She dreamed of making a difference for the health of the Earth and considered attending law school to advocate for changes in environmental policies. At home, Kendra was known as the “green police” and was very comfortable scolding the family for letting the water run, buying plastic water bottles, letting the car idle, leaving the refrigerator open, etc. Tap water was Kendra’s choice of water although there was a commercial water dispenser container in the kitchen; her Nalgene water bottle was her “friend," accompanying her everywhere. In her later years, Kendra became supportive of local farming and was concerned with our food sources and the impact on our environment. She practiced the “re-use” philosophy by happily shopping at consignment shops, her favorite, the Outdoor Gear Exchange on Church Street in Burlington. Ultimately, Kendra’s dream was for us to admire, protect and save the earth.
A week prior to Kendra’s tragic skiing accident in February 2014, Kendra wrote her last Environmental Science class paper. She beautifully expressed her feelings about the Earth and her vision. She wrote about the influence of her 10 years at camp in the White Mountains and the surrounding beauty she admired. More importantly, she clearly outlines her vision: her desire to make others aware of “how precious our earth is” and to create awareness of how we can easily alter the “magical, beautiful place” we live in on account of our ignorance and actions.
Clearly Kendra wanted to make a difference for the benefit of our Earth. Our goal is to fulfill her dream and make a difference in her honor and memory.
Kendra’s Last Environmental Science Paper & Vision