"The teachers really care so much about us and only want us to succeed. They have shown that in every step of the way."
In her time at NSU University School (USchool), senior Bella Stroup has truly led a life of service, looking for any way she can use her voice to help those in need while also remaining focused on achieving her academic goals. In Middle School, Stroup recalls moments where she and her classmates had the opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers who shared stories about hardships they have endured over the years in an effort to help students make better decisions in life and understand the importance of respect and compassion for one another, regardless of personal differences. Their uplifting messages helped Stroup realize how someone's story can significantly make an impact for individuals who may be experiencing similar situations, encouraging her to share her own life story with others.
As a former foster child, Stroup believes that she was born to help others with her adoption story and is committed to promoting positive change in the community by sharing her experiences at various charity events that help raise funds and awareness about the urgent need of children in Florida's foster care system.
"I was given the opportunity for a better life, and now I have the chance to help children like me," said Stroup.
Her powerful story led her to Tallahassee where she had the special honor of singing at our state capitol for Children's Week, an event focused on issues affecting Florida's children.
"I speak at events that are local, so to know that I was making such a difference and that it was being heard all the way in Tallahassee was really a dream come true for me," said Stroup.
In recognition of her service and advocacy, Stroup was awarded the Heart, Soul and Service Award from the Zonta Club, a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. The Zonta Club of Greater Deerfield Beach presented her with the award earlier this year at a celebratory event honoring her leadership and activism.
"Receiving the award was not only a tremendous honor, but also completely unexpected to me," Stroup said. "Not once have I stopped to think about what I have done. I am constantly thinking about what else I can do, so being recognized forces me to step back and understand that I have made a massive impact on these different organizations."
Crediting USchool's supportive teachers for shaping her into the person she is today, Stroup stated "The teachers really care so much about us and only want us to succeed. They have shown that in every step of the way."
For a number of years, Stroup has not only been actively involved in the community, but on campus as well. She has participated in cheerleading, softball, theater, and clubs, such as I Care I Cure, a childhood cancer foundation. Her fondest memories at USchool are the class trips, specifically the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C., because it allowed her and her fellow Sharks to learn together in a different state and form strong connections outside of the classroom.
After graduation, Stroup sees herself attending college and continuing to contribute to society by making a difference in people's lives, using her story and values to help and inspire as many individuals she can.
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