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Second Year Belle: Laura Clugston

'The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others'                                                                               -Ghandi 

All throughout middle school and up until now, I have been heavily involved in volunteer work in many different areas. Whether it is waking up at three in the morning to set up for a race, standing on my feet for countless of hours to pass out programs for people at an event, or working the graveyard shift until two in the morning at the hospital, I love it all.

Coming to UCLA with a passion in my heart for community service was something that I wanted to continue when I got to college. Walking through the aisles of all the clubs at the Enormous Activities Fair was exhausting, but those bright blue jackets with 'belles' on the sleeves stood out to me like no other. After talking with the girls about their service organization, I knew this was the one for me. Part two was the  application. Part three was getting the interview. Lastly, part four was getting accepted. The whole time, I was nervous to apply knowing that I would be going against more than 100 applicants to even get a spot for an interview.
Belles with the New John Wooden Statue
Once I got the phone call informing me of my acceptance, the rest was history! I went to retreat and met some amazing girls from the start.  Right away, we were already having weekly meetings informing us of numerous service opportunities we could do.  Overwhelming? No. Exhilarating?  Quite so.  I cannot remember the first philanthropy event I participated in. I cannot even remember all that I did last year, but what I know is that I did a lot of philanthropy events with many amazing girls.  I know that every week, I had tons of philanthropy events that I wanted to sign up for.  It was just a matter of fitting it into my schedule or getting my name on the list before it closed. Philanthropy events ranged from UCLA service to LA service opportunities.  Some events consisted of working at galas in Beverly Hills, working with disabled children with S.O.A.R. at UCLA, helping out at benefit races, making and baking challah, and so much more.  Events can range from a few hours to half of a day -- some happen only once and some are offered every year. All Belle events are ever-so-popular, and girls rush to the tables to sign up when their rows are called at meeting.  Every week I get so pumped to read the agenda, so I can sign up for more philanthropy events.  Every philanthropy event I have volunteered at was heartwarming and worth all the time and effort! No matter what type of event it is, I have enjoyed every single one during my time in Belles.  Not only was I able to do service for my community and school, but I was also able to establish relationships with the girls on Bruin Belles and the people that we have worked with for our philanthropy events.
Dream Street Foundation 25th Anniversary Celebration
Current and Alumni Belles at We Run the City 5K
Bruin Belles Service Association is an amazing group to be involved in. All the ladies in the organization have a drive and passion that encourages me and inspires me to only want to help out more. I could not have asked for a better organization to be part of here at UCLA.  Not only am I able to participate in weekly service events, but I have also met some of my best friends here at BBSA.  Volunteering is a lifestyle for me and without volunteer service, I would not feel fulfilled with my life.  These past two years have been an amazing journey with Bruin Belles Service Association.  My second year here has only begun and it is off to an incredible start. These are the girls that I can always lean on and can call my sisters. We are a large group of individually unique and inspiring women all united by a single cause: to help the world.  And when you put us all together in a one room: we are a force to be reckoned with. 

Love and hugs,
Laura Clugston
Belles at Fall Retreat


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