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Reach For the Stars

While brainstorming themes with other Belles in the P.L.A.Y. Day Activities committee, this familiar phrase stuck out to us. It conjured up images of space, science, and exciting things to discover. However, most importantly, it elicited feelings of hope, courage, and infinite possibilities: what we try to create every year at P.L.A.Y. Day. And so, it was settled—this year would be a “journey through outer space,” empowering the kids to explore STEM and reach for their wildest dreams. 

P.L.A.Y. Day (Players Leading Active Youth Day) is an annual event in which Belles bring the youth of East L.A. Rising together with UCLA athletes for a day of outdoor fun. Stars and national champions from UCLA sports like volleyball, football, soccer, and tennis play alongside the kids in games like tug-of-war, capture-the-flag, and relay races. Through these beloved games and a following Q&A session, the athletes empower the students to stay active, have fun, and achieve their goals in higher education. They answer all the kids’ questions, spanning from “What’s your favorite food?” to “How did you get into college?” 

Every Belles event is moving and beautiful—but P.L.A.Y. Day will always hold an extra special place in my heart. It was one of the main reasons I wanted to join BBSA, just to see the smiles on those kids' faces as they were lifted up by people they looked up to. 

As Campus Culture DB this past year and Campus Culture Director for the upcoming school year, I have the honor of being closely involved in the planning process. It was a joy planning with the Activities Committee, who came up with incredible ideas like “Tug of Star Wars” and decorated an astronaut photo booth. There were days that required grit, but when I finally saw students giggling in Wallis-Annenberg Stadium, I knew it was the most worth-it thing I had ever done.

I can’t wait to hear the laughter again this year—but my first P.L.A.Y. Day will always stick with me. It will always remind me to have high hopes for the future, and the power of pouring into the youth of our community. 

Belle Love,
Brooke Johnston


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