School of Education
Early Childhood Education, PreK-4 major
Social justice advocate and resident assistant (RA) in St. Martin's Hall
A passion for social justice was nurtured here at Duquesne through several key experiences. In 2018-19 Bella was a Community Engagement Scholar with the Center for the Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research (CETR). In this role she worked at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Hill District branch, teaching reading skills to young children as a "reading buddy." It was "probably one of my best experiences at Duquesne," she said. "You build a relationship with the community partner as well as the people at the library and the kids, which was amazing." Bella goes on to say that, "I think the mission of CETR and for the community engagement scholars was to make sure the relationship was sustainable. It wasn't something that you're just popping in and then leaving. It was a real authentic relationship."
Serving others on three Spiritan Campus Ministry- Duquesne University Spiritan Mission Experiences has also helped to shape Bella's career trajectory. She participated in the Chicago/Dayton trip, the Immokalee, FL experience and most recently on the Dominican Republic trip this summer, where she was a student leader at a day camp for children in barrio Villa Liberacion.
Back on the Bluff she has been involved in Duquesne's chapter of Strong Women, Strong Girls, Campus YMCA Congress and Pi Lambda Theta, a national honor society of educators. She is also a big fan of the School of Education's Curriculum Center and the chance to get field experience as a first-year student.
Interestingly, as Resident Assistant (RA) in St. Martin's Hall, Bella has been able to further develop the capabilities she will need as a teacher. "Being an RA is so similar to being a teacher, even down to the bulletin boards. It provides you with so much experience because you're on call, you have to problem solve on the spot, you have to innovate and so there's a lot of really good transferrable skills," Bella says.
The New Jersey native is open to getting job anywhere but has a clear goal of getting into education policy later in her career, with the objective of helping to affect systemic change and creating more equal educational opportunities for all.