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Showing posts from 2017

"Still We Rise"

Each year as I walk the UCLA campus during these chilly months, I continually hear students complaining that Winter Quarter is the absolute worst!  It's the time during the school year when students bear a heavier course load, the weather is cold and rainy, and the only place to hang out seems to be the library.  Fortunately for me, I’m blessed to be a part of Bruin Belles, which has hosted several stand out philanthropic and Women's leadership events that have kept me happily on my toes this quarter! My personal favorite occurred this past weekend when our Women's Leadership Director, Ankita Handa, lead the annual Women's Leadership Conference aptly themed “Still We Rise” from the eternally relevant work of Maya Angelou.   It was a wonderfully thoughtful and engaging session, with multiple speakers reflecting on both their personal and professional journeys. One speaker, Nadia Allaudin, particularly resonated with me as she spoke candidly about what it means to be a

Pursuing My Passion

When I first came to UCLA, I knew that I wanted to join a student run community service organization that would enable me to simultaneously pursue my passion for volunteering while creating a network of friendships that would last a lifetime. I have found this and so much more through Bruin Belles Service Association. Not only have I been able to give back to my school and the community through a variety of philanthropy and campus culture opportunities, but I have met so many inspirational and driven women though Belles. I am very fortunate to call many Belles some of my closest friends.  In addition to the numerous philanthropies and campus culture events offered, one thing that sets Bruin Belles apart is our organization's commitment to professionalism and the promotion of women's leadership. One of my favorite Belle events is our annual Women's Leadership Conference. Each year, Bruin Belles hosts a conference where we invite a diverse panel of inspirational women to spe

Come Rain or Shine

As an annual tradition, Belles visited Disneyland in January - the only difference this year was that it was forecasted to rain all day. We got to Disneyland and it looked so different under a gloomy sky, with the castle shaded in grey and the theme park almost deserted. Nevertheless we headed straight to Hyperspace Mountain and went on to spread Belle love. Only Bruin Belles would take a day uncomfortable with wet socks and drenched jackets, and turn it into one of the most incredible days of my year. We looked at the silver lining around every corner – there were no lines for any of the rides and we got to go on almost everything, sometimes even twice! I was left with four amazing girls at the end of the day – Bess, Anne, Raegan and Echo and we even got dinner at the Blue Bayou! If it weren’t for the rain, there was no way we could have gotten a reservation and given how cold, wet and exhausted we were, it was the most magical and enchanting dinner ever. Su

A New Perspective

What is it exactly that Bruin Belles Service Association does? That’s a tough question to answer simply. Of course, we help with philanthropy events in Los Angeles, from volunteering with Meals on Wheels to helping out with extravagant galas to getting our hands dirty as we tend to endangered plants on campus. But I’ve often found it difficult to describe Belles in a way that isn’t just listing all of the activities that we do in the community and on campus. It wasn’t until I heard Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, speak at a Campus Culture event a couple weeks ago that I got a better idea of how to understand what Belles does as an organization and, more specifically, what it means to me to be a Bruin Belle. When asked about what it feels like to help communities ridden with gang violence, Father Boyle responded humbly that he in no way set out to “help” anyone. If anything, he explained, he aspired to be helped and to learn from other people. He told countless stori

A Place For Me

What first attracted me to Bruin Belles over a year ago was the community I saw within this organization. As a freshman who was barely a week into her first year of college, I stumbled upon a group of young women who loved each other fiercely—who were driven, empowered, supportive, and as passionate about philanthropy and leadership as they were about their friendships with each other. Within ten minutes of hearing the words “Bruin Belles Service Association”, I knew I had found the place for me—and I haven’t looked back since.  There is indescribable power in a group of women coming together as a community to drive and create change. Being in Bruin Belles has given me the privilege of being a part of this type of community, giving me over 90 friends who also serve as my mentors and as my inspirations. Whether we are eating waffles and reflecting on our fears and hopes after a precarious election year, restoring a long-forgotten creek and its weakened ecosystem, or reading books to