Rene Kowlessar René Kowlessar

Just Be Real

Junior education major René Kowlessar shares her insight on what makes Bethel unique.


When I started looking at colleges I had a friend who was a freshman here. I asked if I could spend the night with her and get a tour the next day. I came on a Sunday and we went to Vespers, and I just knew that this is where I belonged.

My mom is Christian and my dad is Hindu. I grew up Christian. That was challenging. It definitely pushed me in my own faith. It’s helped me relate to other people and see their heart when I’m getting to know them. It’s been cool seeing God working in our lives.

I love being compassionate for people. That’s important to me. Meeting people where they are. Loving on them. I think compassion is the greatest gift I can offer.

Bethel is different from other places because of the genuine nature of everything. You get to know people beyond the ‘hey, how are you?’ Relationships are more intentional. The professors genuinely care about you. They learn your name, they know what you like to do, they ask for prayer requests. And they follow up. They remember. Where else do you get that?

My first day of freshman year, I was really scared. But then the professor prayed. I was blown away. I wasn’t expecting it.

Don’t be afraid to be real. It’s something everyone struggles with. Reach out. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. People care, and they want to hear you out. People here want the best for you.

I’ve always loved kids and working with kids. I want to work in inner-city schools. It’s definitely eye opening, and humbling at the same time. I want to love on those kids. We need teachers who are willing to take charge.

Before coming to Bethel I thought I was going to go into worship, but the more I thought about it the more I realized I don’t need a degree to worship. I can just do worship.

I can use music in my classroom. A lot of schools can’t afford to support the arts. They’re focusing on tests, but really, you can add a little rap to teach math, or a song in the morning. It gets kids going. They need that motivation, that outlet. And I love to do it.