EPISD Student Spotlight: Bella Roman, Andress High
(ANDRESS HIGH SCHOOL -- Jan. 25, 2022) — Andress’ Isabella “Bella” Roman excels both on the basketball court and as an International Baccalaureate student. The student-athlete is one of EPISD’s four 2021-22 QuestBridge Scholars. Bella is who’s headed to Stanford University this fall on a full-ride scholarship wants to become an attorney and represent victims of abuse and exploitation. Community Engagement interviewed her virtually for this week’s EPISD Student Spotlight.
EPISD: What are your career goals and how will Questbridge help you achieve them?
BELLA ROMAN: Since elementary school, I’ve dreamed of pursuing a career that would allow me to help people and change lives for the better. One of the best ways for me to accomplish that dream is to become an attorney and represent victims of abuse and exploitation. The QuestBridge program has helped me move further towards achieving this goal by allowing me to look past the financial burden of college tuition and has opened a brand-new path to secure my future at Stanford.
EPISD: What do you look most forward to at Stanford?
BR: Stanford is such a prestigious and diverse university. I am excited to meet people from various places who will enable me to grow as a scholar and individual. I’ve heard amazing things about the community, and I feel like I’ll be able to fit in perfectly.
EPISD: Tell us about your dream to study law and advocate for victims of abuse and exploitation?
BR: Throughout my childhood, I was taught to show compassion and to always stand up for what I believe in. Having close friends and family who have been victims of abuse has only made me more determined to study law and pursue a career that allows me to advocate for victims and help them find closure. By pursuing law, I will get to assist others while pursuing a stable career.
EPISD: What other top scholarships are you currently in the running for or have received?
BR: Outside of the QuestBridge scholarship, the College Point program and has provided me with multiple generous scholarship opportunities. I do plan on applying for smaller, yet important scholarships as well.
EPISD: How do you balance being academics with sports?
BR: Being a student-athlete is always a challenge, but I have worked very hard to balance myself by planning out my week before it starts just to make sure I know what’s expected of me and what my goals are for the week both academically and athletically. My teachers, friends, and family are all amazingly supportive and constantly remind me to breathe and make sure I’m in the right mindset of productivity and balance.
EPISD: How has being a IB student prepared you for college and your future?
BR: Being a part of the IB program has been such an eye-opening experience for me and I feel extremely well prepared for college education. IB courses are rigorous and require dedication, commitment, and self-responsibility, which are aspects of education that I will need in college. Some of my IB teachers are the best mentors I could ask for and are always eager to help me in my academic journey.
EPISD: What are your honors and achievements in high school?
BR: Some of my honors and achievements are becoming a Questbridge finalist, a College Point Advisor Recipient, an African American Recognition Award Recipient, and a top 10 scholar in my previous years of high school.
EPISD: What other extracurricular activities are you involved in?
BR: A few important extracurriculars that I am involved in are Student Council Officers, National Honor Society (NHS), basketball, track, and Senior Class Office. Extracurriculars such as Student Council and NHS allow me to serve my community and school through projects and community Service. Engaging in sports like basketball and track ensures that I make the most out of my high school experience and form important bonds with my teammates.
EPISD: Why has it been important to you to get involved in school?
BR: It is extremely important to me to be involved in school activities so I can assist in making my school an amazing environment where my fellow peers can learn and have fun in a safe and comfortable environment. To me, school should feel like a second home and a place where you feel prepared and excited to learn.
EPISD: What have you been doing outside of school activities?
BR: Outside of school, I love to get involved in youth sports and assist with coaching my little sisters’ basketball and wrestling teams. It makes me happy to know that I’m helping my sisters and their friends have fun and excel in their sports. Otherwise, I like to take time to myself, sit down and just read a book, or spend time with my family and friends.
EPISD: What advice would you give students interested in applying for QuestBridge?
BR: Some advice I would give to future Questbridge prospects is to just go for it! Even if you’re not sure about it, take the chance and you might be the next one to get a full scholarship. Second, dedicate yourself and make sure you put time aside to complete the necessary application process. This program definitely takes commitment. Sometimes, you have to be realistic and realize you won’t always get to go to every hangout event or have fun all the time but it’s an important sacrifice that will pay off in the end. Last, use your resources and communicate! Talk to your college coordinator, your college advisor, other Questbridge Scholars! It makes a huge difference. I wouldn’t have learned about the Questbridge program so early on in the year if it wasn’t for my college advisor, Hannah.
EPISD: Anything you’d like to add?
BR: I would firstly like to thank my parents for always supporting me and continuing to motivate me to follow my dreams. I will forever be grateful for all the sacrifices you’ve made for me and my siblings to have an amazing childhood. To my friends, thank you for all the love and support you’ve given me, whether we met this year or 10 years ago. To my teachers and my counselor, thank you for always pushing me to realize my full potential and supporting me in my journey. To my coaches, thank you for teaching me what it means to be a leader on and off the court. Finally, thank you to Questbridge for blessing me with this incredible opportunity and believing in my potential.
Cover photo by L. Monroy