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Showing posts from December, 2018

Making a Difference

There are several Belles events that hold a special place in my heart, one of them being the quarterly dances at the Veterans’ Hospital. Some of my most meaningful moments in Belles were spent there, from dancing with some groovin’ veterans to meeting some of my dearest friends for the first time. It is a place where I feel like I am truly making a difference in the lives of others. Last year, I attended the winter quarter Valentine’s Day Dance where I met Bill. Bill was a kind, elderly veteran who I encouraged to join us on the dance floor. Though he was hesitant at first, he got up and started to dance, and happily at that. He smiled and twirled and laughed while telling me that he hadn’t danced in a long time. As we all boogied in a big circle to Come on Eileen, Bill told me that, in his youth, he had been an actor, a movie extra, and a stunt double in an old crime movie. We continued to talk about his life and mine, exchanging interesting stories. At the end of the dance, he thank…

A Sense of Belonging

Being surrounded by the incredibly driven, selfless and compassionate individuals that are Bruin Belles has been so fundamental to me finding a sense of belonging at the immensely intimidating and overwhelming institution that is UCLA. I am continually inspired by the ubiquitous drive to serve and learn among belles, despite the wide diversity of academic interests, campus involvements, and career aspirations. BBSA has allowed me to give, learn, and grow in ways I would have never expected, all while having a lot of fun. Some of my best memories range from making meaningful connections over coffee at Kerckhoff, engaging in hands-on philanthropy projects, and networking with incredible alumni and connected professionals. 
To be frank, this quarter was both mentally and physically exhausting for me as I continue on my search to find my interests and niche at UCLA. However, seeing Belles every week kept me energized, positive, and motivated as I navigated through draining back-to-back s…

Home Away from Home

During my second year at UCLA, my mentor and then current Bruin Belles member, Runi, convinced me to apply to Bruin Belles. She said it was her best decision in college and promised I would meet people that would inspire me. Her promise held true. I could not imagine going through college without having Bruin Belles in my life. As soon as I attended the first Bruin Belles meeting, I knew I found my home away home. All the members were so enthusiastic to meet me and the whole club welcomed me with open arms. Through Bruin Belles, I was able to participate in many philanthropy events, including my favorite, the Veterans’ Halloween Dance. At this philanthropy event, we serve food to the veterans at the VA Hospital and dance with them. It heartwarming to see the smiles on their faces when we would do the “Cha Cha Slide” or the “Cupid Shuffle” and it was rewarding to be able to give back to those who served our country.
Because of Bruin Belles, I have met a supportive group that has stuck …

The New Lana

I will never forget this conversation with my mom last year. She said “I like this new Lana, you seem happier.” It came out of nowhere but really encompassed how I was feeling. This was about one month into my acceptance into Bruin Belles, and I knew that it was the reason for my newfound optimism. In my first two years at UCLA, I joined a sorority hoping to find a community to belong to on such a big campus. Even though I had a great experience there, something was missing. When I had heard about Bruin Belles at the end of my second year, I was so excited to apply! It sounded like a great, service-oriented community. Bruin Belles has turned out to be so much more than just an organization- it became my home.
Bruin Belles has made me a better student, professional, friend, leader and just overall a better person. I have had the honor of meeting absolutely radiant women of different backgrounds and majors who truly inspire and support me everyday. I remember being at Open House as an a…