Photography by Kristina Rose Photography
Meet Mariya. She is Beauty Revived.
Meet Mariya Bower. I knew that we’d have a lot in common when I heard that her favorite quote is, “She believed she could, so she did”. This girl works so very hard and I have no doubt that “she will”.
Mariya is a homeschooled Senior who has worked to be the best person she can be. She has overcome an illness that fed her passion to pursue a career in nursing. While she works hard to balance what she needs to do to stay healthy, she continues to give to others.
“Mariya is an excellent example of true beauty. Although she is very beautiful on the outside, it is her caring and compassionate heart that makes her a beauty queen,” says her mother, Melodie Bower, who nominated Mariya. She may have a different situation than other traditional seniors, but that hasn’t kept her from excelling in her passions.
“Mariya amazes me at the initiative, creativity and excellence she has achieved as a 17-year-old in so many ways,” says her mother. When she was 12, she became very ill. Her sickness was very severe for 3 years. Although physicians tried to help Mariya recover, her condition was a mystery to them. During this time of sickness, Mariya’s faith became stronger, and her determination to be well again motivated her to take action into her own hands. Her favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
And at age 15, she reclaimed her health, with a very strict diet and exercise plan. She went from being unable to walk through the store, to now being able to hike mountains and run marathons! “She has a determination and dedication for healthy living like no one I have ever seen!” says Melodie. Because she is homeschooled, she is unable to participate in school sports, but that does not keep her from being very athletic. She creates her own exercise plans and consistently reaches her physical goals, thus helping fight back an illness that kept her down for so many years.
At the same time as her health was beginning to decline, Mariya’s grandfather suddenly passed away. Her concern was to care for her grandmother, now a widow, and grief stricken. Even in her own overwhelming grief and sickness, she offered comfort and help to her grandmother, by staying with her, cooking for her, and doing whatever she could to help her cope.
Other ways Mariya demonstrates her inner beauty is by being involved in her church. She gives to her church both financially, and physically by sharing her musical talents. She also gives her love by working with the children at church. She teaches two different children’s church classes. Kids absolutely love Mariya! Her gentle heart of kindness just draws them to her.
Mariya is also a talented musician and vocalist. She uses her skill to play the guitar in her church and local various events. For example, she volunteered her musical talent a recently to help raise money for the local rescue squad.
“Mariya has impacted my life in so many ways. I have watched her overcome many struggles, all the while, having a heart to give to others in need,” says her mother. Mariya achieves excellence by maintaining her schoolwork, and being an efficient worker for three days a week at an accounting office. “She is humble. She never wants attention, although she deserves it,” says her mother.
Mariya wants to go to college, to be a nurse. Which is not surprising because she has always had such compassion for others, but it is ironic, however, that she wants to go into nursing, because while she was sick, she had some very traumatic experiences with doctors. Those experiences caused her to greatly fear going to the doctor. But now, she knows what it is to be a sick child and she hopes to help other sick children to face their fears, and obtain a full recovery!
About the Photographer
Kristina Rose is a mom, wife and professional photographer for growing families in Virginia. She loves keeping things real and spending time outdoors with her family.