Barbara Collins Bowie was born Barbara Marie Collins in 1947, Jackson, Mississippi, where she endured the oppression of those times through her childhood up to her adult life. After experiencing the death of her father at 15 and her mother at 19, she realized that her future was in her own hands. Her military marriage in 1968 rendered her a physically challenged son and a re-location to Texas in 1970. Her son, Johnny presently, lives with his father, who returned to Jackson, Mississippi several years ago. Her daughter, Tarra, is a very successful Insurance Agent in Dallas, TX. She has two step-daughters, living in Ft. Worth and a step son, from her marriage to Dr. Bowie.
Barbara is founder and Executive Director of The Dr. J.R. Bowie, III Scholarship Foundation and Foster Care Parent to her autistic step-son. Her 27 years as a Social Worker-Nurse prepared her for activism and community service. Barbara became an LVN in 1969 and started out her nursing career, in the early 1970s, in Neonatal ICU at Christus Santa Rosa Medical Center. In 1973 she began a career in Counseling at the MHMR Center for Healthcare that lasted more than 13 years. During that time she studied at the College at Our Lady of the Lake University, becoming a Licensed Social Worker. Later, she was drawn into Psych Nursing, specializing in Depression, Chemical Dependency and Duel Diagnosed clients with Mental Retardation. Her entrepreneurial skills led her to assisting others with the establishment of community homes for MR clients, supervising homes for physically and mentally challenged clients and, finally, opening up her own Assisted Living and Adult Daycare homes. In 1993, when emergency neck surgery rendered her unable to work for a time, Barbara was led back to her first loves from elementary school, music and writing. She became a published poet-writer and has devoted her life to helping youth realize their artistic abilities early in life and in how to use the Fine Arts as an outlet and alternative to negative behavior. The Bowie Foundation provides performing arts after school and summer programs, educational, community events, food pantry and many other services for youth and their families. Although she has applied for occasional grants, when time allows, partnered with various other organizations for fundraisers and events, this has become a challenge for Barbara, as she takes care of her autistic son, home and the Foundation with her social security and Foster Care Parent salary.