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In November 1990, on Thanksgiving Day Kayleigh Anne Bowman was born. She was the first daughter of Pat and Mary Kay Bowman. She was a beautiful little girl, full of personality and lots of smiles. Unfortunately, in July of the following year, Kayleigh passed away. Her death was attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Obviously, this was a devastating loss for the Bowman family. Losing a loved one is always hard to endure. Losing a daughter at such a young age is unimaginable.


Years later, the Bowman family wanted to find a way to always remember Kayleigh and use her memory to make someone else's life shine a little brighter. With the tremendous support of family, friends, and the St. Jude community the Kayleigh Anne Bowman Memorial, Guardian Angel Scholarship was born. The purpose of this scholarship, entering its 15th year, is to provide annual assistance to a family in need with a Catholic education for their child at St. Jude Regional School in Rockville, MD. 

Pat Bowman (left), Mary Kay Bowman (right), Kayleigh Bowman (middle)
"We would always tell our children that they had a sister in Heaven who was their Guardian Angel. As our children got a little bit older, we made a family decision. We decided the time had come to share our own Guardian Angel with someone else who needs her."

-Pat Bowman




The story behind the scholarship.

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On November 22, 1990, on Thanksgiving Day, our first daughter Kayleigh Anne Bowman was born.  Like almost all parents having their first child, Mary Kay and I were thrilled, blessed and grateful to share Thanksgiving Day with our new daughter.   She was a wonderful little girl, full of personality from birth. We were happy to share her with our family and friends and she always brought a smile to the face of those who knew her.  We were blessed beyond measure.  Unfortunately, in July of the following year, our world was changed again.  Kayleigh passed away. Her death was attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).


Obviously this was a devastating loss for Mary Kay and I. Losing a loved one is always hard to endure.  Losing a daughter, a first child, at such a young age was unimaginable and not something new parents really think about.  We were surrounded by family and friends and comforted with love and compassion but there was certainly a void and emptiness that was left. 

Subsequently we were blessed with three additional children, Brett, Jack and Bridgid to complete our family. While we raised our children and our family grew and aged we always made a point to remember Kayleigh and keep her memory within our family.  Mary Kay and I wanted all of our children to know Kayleigh and realize they had another sibling.  We told our children they were fortunate because they had a sister who would be their Guardian Angel.  

As our children grew we enrolled them in St. Jude School in Rockville, MD. The St. Jude community was like most Catholic school communities and our family quickly immersed ourselves in the entire community.   Brett graduated from St. Jude School in 2006, Jack followed in 2008 and Bridgid graduated in 2011.  Since we had made a family commitment to the school we wanted to include all of our children in the community.   In November of 2004, the Bowman family decided to start a scholarship fund, in memory of our daughter, to assist a student at St. Jude's School who showed academic promise and had a financial need. 

From the onset of the idea, our family received a tremendous outpouring of support. Through the donations of especially generous friends, family, the St. Jude community and other donors, the Kayleigh Anne Bowman Memorial, Guardian Angel Scholarship was born. 

The Kayleigh Anne Bowman Memorial, Guardian Angel Scholarship was designed to provide financial assistance, based on need, annually to a St. Jude student who has displayed academic promise and the values that are learned through a Catholic education. When the first award was given in 2005, it was for a full tuition for one student.  As time has moved, the monetary award remains about the same as the scholarship award is now $4000, annually.  

When the fund was started, we really did not know where this project would take us and the impact it would have on the St. Jude community.  Through the generosity of others, both in the initial stages and throughout the years, we have been able to keep the scholarship intact.  This year, 2020, we will present our 15th award.  During those 15 years we have received hundreds of applications, moving stories of the lives of the students of St. Jude, thank you cards that have produced tears, unexpected donations with an expression of appreciation, conversations with others about Kayleigh and the scholarship.  It has been a wonderful journey.  As parents who sent their children to Catholic school, Mary Kay and I always said we hope our children learn to help others and that making a positive impact on someone else’s life is the most important lesson.  When Kayleigh passed away at 7 months, in those dark days of 1991, we really didn’t think she would get that chance. What we have learned is that with the help of many others she has made an impact on the lives of others and that continues on today.  We are truly blessed by all.  


 - Mary Elizabeth Jenkins, 2005

 - Tyler Ward, 2006

 - Anthony Lozupone, 2007

 - Saron Araia, 2008

 - Mary Kilner, 2009

 - Brigid English, 2010

 - Christina Kilmer, 2011

 - James Mabry, 2012

 - Victoria Martinez, 2013

 - Josephine DeLaOlivia, 2014

 - Bianca David, 2015

 - Matthew Byrne, 2016

 - Alex Condori, 2017

 - Morgan Hough, 2018

 - Isabella Grijalba, 2019

- Abraham Kerry, 2020

- Sam Bonilla, 2021

- Yesenia Teyes, 2022

- Kishi Flores, 2023

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