Graduate Spotlight: Elana Bell

Graduation cap, diploma, and ribbon

Alana BellAs we honor the Class of 2021, we're shining a spotlight on a few of our amazingly talented, hardworking and determined graduates who've persisted through personal obstacles, a global pandemic and unprecedented instructional change to achieve their degree or certificate. To all of our 2021 Graduates: You are UNSTOPPABLE!

Meet 2021 graduate Elana Bell (she/her), a native of Seattle and the first person in her family to attend college! Through her tenacity, and the support of TRIO Student Support Services at South, Elana is set to graduate this year with her Associate of Arts (AA) all while work multiple jobs and navigating the unprecedented pandemic. She plans to transfer to the University of Washington to study social welfare, and hopes to use her degree and experience to help people in her community. 

We asked Elana about her experiences as a student, her goals and dreams after graduating, and any advice she has for students as they pursue their degree at South and beyond. 

Why did you choose to study at South? 

I chose to pursue my Associate of Arts degree at South so that I could transfer to a four-year university.

What have you enjoyed the most about your time studying at South?

What I have enjoyed the most about my time studying at South are the connections I have made. Being involved with TRIO has really enriched my experience, allowing me to make connections with students during this crazy virtual time and guiding me through the transfer process.

What are you most proud of from your time here at South?

I am most proud of my drive and dedication. I have worked very hard at maintaining a high grade point average while working multiple jobs.

What are your plans after graduation? What are your future career plans?

I just got accepted to the University of Washington. I plan on transferring in the fall and majoring in social welfare. I am not entirely sure what I plan on doing with that degree, but I know I want to help people.

You persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic to complete your education, and that takes great dedication and perseverance. What do you attribute your success to?

I attribute my success to staying focused. It is so very important to keep sight of your goals. You have to be your own motivator. In some crazy way, I think COVID-19 helped me focus more on school during the quarantine, and school definitely helped me get through COVID-19 in return.

What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming South Seattle College student?

One piece of advice I would give to an incoming South Seattle College student is to join TRIO if you are able to. If not, create a support group at South. This can be made up of your peers, advisors or instructors. It is hard to navigate alone, but be sure to reach out. They all want to help you!

Congratulations to Elana and all our 2021 graduates!