Sabrina Bow (Class of ’98) majored in Biological Sciences and minored in English at UC Irvine. She received an MBA from USC, and is now Executive Director of the Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise (LAAAE), a charter school in downtown in Los Angeles that is preparing students to be leaders in the arts and business.
Sabrina came to UC Irvine because of its school of Biological Sciences, little expecting that she would become fascinated by English and Comparative Literature courses, which were her favorites. As a freshman, she encountered Professor Gregory Benford, a Professor of Physics and Nebula Award winner for science fiction writing, who helped her hone her skills as a writer. Professor Michelle Latiolais, her thesis advisor, also played a “life changing” role in Sabrina’s education, as she gave her the opportunity to write creatively for her honors thesis, which was a trilogy of short stories.
The CHP also played a major role in Sabrina’s life at UC Irvine, providing a community of scholars within the greater university that made her college experience “very intimate and memorable.” Life was not all study and hard work as a member of the CHP. An enthusiastic Arroyo Vista resident, Sabrina recalls a night time “super soaker” squirtgun fight in the Arroyo between CHP students. She also enjoyed the CHP camping trips to Cuyamaca and Joshua Tree. On the academic side, Sabrina credits the CHP’s core curriculum with allowing her to engage with an in-depth course of study, stating that the core courses, “gave me the chance to reflect on how ideas and concepts are connected, and how paradigms change over time.” This, in turn, helped her learn to “think critically and empathetically…a skill that was fostered by the CHP and still serves me well today.”
Sabrina is now using her wide background and experience to help build the LAAAE, a new school that serves economically disadvantaged students in Los Angeles, preparing them for leadership and success in college. She met the school’s founder, Mr. Moctesuma Esparza, while she was in business school. Sabrina states that she “was deeply inspired by Mr. Esparza’s vision to create a public school with unwavering standards in academics and art that serves a low-income community. I was fortunate to attend good public schools when I was growing up, but even then, the arts programs were starting to recede. I believe a foundation in the arts–visual, performing, language arts–enables students to more powerfully connect with others and the environment. I believe being connected in this way is critical to leadership. I also believe that economic and financial literacy–which is integrated into our curriculum–are vital disciplines for anyone who takes on a leadership role in life.” The LAAAE is adding a grade each year, and now enrolls 125 students in grades six and seven. Their goal is to add a grade each year until they enroll approximately 800 students in grades 8-12. If you are interested in learning more about the Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise, see www.laaae.org.