2022 - LouElla Cole

2022 BEOC Arthur O. Eve Education and Community Service Award

BEOC Class of 1995


Mrs. LouElla Cole-Bowens 
has empowered her family, students and our community through her educational achievements mirroring the life-long learning mission of the Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center (BEOC).

Picture of Mrs. LouElla Cole-Bowens.

“The Buffalo EOC gave me the foundation I needed to continue my education and provide for my family.”

In 1995, while working part-time during the day as a Home Health Aide, Mrs. Cole-Bowens enrolled in the  BEOC Certified Nursing Assistant evening program. It was at the Center that she realized an education is the real “key” to a successful and productive life.  While working 3rd shift at Sisters of Charity Hospital of Buffalo as a Certified Nursing Assistant, she enrolled at Bryant & Stratton College and received her Associates of Science Degree in 1997. Shortly thereafter, while working at Erie County Medical Center and Buffalo General Hospital on the weekends, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a certification in Long Term Care Administration from D’Youville College. She was later canvased for a teaching position at Bryant & Stratton College and became the Allied Health Program Director for both the Buffalo and South-Towns Campuses. Upon meeting an instructor at the Buffalo EOC, Mrs. Cole-Bowens applied for an adjunct teaching position at the Center and was hired in 2005 as the Lead Instructor for the Medical Billing & Coding program, where she has continued to teach for the past seventeen years.

Mrs. Cole-Bowens has been employed by Erie County for twenty-four years as a Head Social Welfare Examiner and Medical Office Assistant at Erie County Medical Center. In her current position as a county Employment Counselor, she impacts the lives of others by empowering them to pursue their own academic and career pursuits. Practicing what she preaches, LouElla has participated in numerous University at Buffalo Educational Leadership Seminars.

Since 2017, as a role-model to her family, students and clients, Mrs. Cole-Bowens has volunteered for Stop the Violence Coalition, a non-profit community based organization devoted to reducing violence in the City of Buffalo and its surrounding areas. Working along-side community leaders, Mrs. Cole-Bowens mentors at-risk youth and young adults by equipping them with personal and professional development tools to transform their challenges into accomplishments.

According to Mrs. Cole-Bowens, “The Buffalo EOC gave me the foundation I needed to continue my education and provide for my family.”

Alumni Affairs and Student Development Office