Catching Up with Bella

You may remember Bella as winner of the Outstanding Youth of the Year Category for Hall of Honor 2016. We caught up with her to see what she’s been up to since the Hall of Honor event and we’re excited to share her update!

Bella grew up a middle child in a family of six. Her parents, Marcia and Joe knew that she would need some extra support growing up. “She was a good kid, very energetic,” says Marcia. Joe added, “But with Bella’s challenges, we knew it would be easy [for her] to get lost in the crowd.” With her parents’ support, Bella made it to her senior year, and that’s when she got her first job. But she aspired to a greater long-term plan. “I wanted more for my life and my career. My dream was to be able to live on my own; to support myself.”

Then Goodwill Central Texas and Project SEARCH entered the picture. Project Search, a workforce advancement collaborative, approached Bella about an internship at the University Medical Center Brackenridge. She accepted and started working with her Goodwill Career Case Manager to navigate the internship. When Bella completed a rotation for Pharmacy Technician, she decided her college major on the spot. “I was on a lot of medicines when I was a child,” says Bella. “I wanted to know how they work and be able to help people with that knowledge.”

After her internship, Bella worked hard to obtain a position as a Floor Supply Specialist at the hospital, “I’m part of something much bigger…a real community doing good. All of us are part of keeping people alive and healthy.” She was then able to get her own apartment and start planning to continue her education.

Two years later, Bella is still happily working at the University Medical Center Brackenridge as a Floor Supply Specialist. She is also completing her fourth semester at ACC with plans to finish this portion of her academic career within the next year. Afterwards, Bella intends to complete the final phase of her education, and realize her goal of becoming a Pharmacy Technician.

After spending so much time in hospitals as a child, Bella once feared them. Now, she is proud to pursue a career directly in healthcare. Bella’s job has not only enabled her to continue her education, it has allowed her the independence she desired with a pathway for the future.

Congratulations to Bella for continuing her trajectory as Outstanding Youth!