Stepping foot onto the campus at UCLA, I felt overwhelmed yet excited about the multitude of opportunities that were available for students. After reaching out to a senior friend at UCLA about her experiences, I noticed she mentioned an organization called Bruin Belles Service Association that she wished she applied to. After visiting the activities fair and the open house, I knew Bruin Belles was exactly what I was looking for at UCLA. The past two years in Belles has given me the opportunity to volunteer at autism research events, attend the American Music Awards, assist at a pie eating contest, play basketball with individuals with cognitive disabilities, and so much more. I found myself especially fascinated by the events where I worked with children and individuals with disabilities. The social implications of science and medicine was an aspect I believed had much potential needing to be unlocked. This past quarter I was fortunate to join another Belle in playing weekly basketball games with individuals having mental disabilities. By just having us encourage and support them during each game, I could immediately see not only a smile on their faces but also a constant smile on my own lasting the entire session. Seeing how much of an impact we can have in making everyone feel important and inclusive in our society is a powerful tool that should be utilized more. The opportunity Belles has given me to keep tapping into this aspect of society has led me to understand how I can make a difference various communities. I am constantly surrounded by fellow Belles, who also have a similar mindset of giving back to varying aspects of society, including the low income, homeless, and underrepresented communities. Each event we attend, regardless of the size or cause, allows us to leave our own mark and impact. Each Belle has found their own niche in what they are passionate about in society and are constantly making a difference in that aspect. With such a diverse and empowered group of women, this organization never ceases to inspire me to keep staying involved in the community and helping those in need.
Simrina Desar, Distinguished Belle