You Can Be a Strategist — Kayla Bellody (’21)
Amid these anything-but-normal times, Bentley has been no stranger to rapid change and reconfiguration to better adapt to the ubiquitous circumstances. A steady standout among all this change has been senior Kayla Bellody—unwavering in the face of the unknown, she has skillfully navigated these uncertain times and has provided salient stability to the organizations she is in. Now, with a laundry list of leadership experiences under her belt, Kayla has remained steadfast in her commitment to ensuring her skills can be used for the betterment of the clubs she’s involved with. Since the conclusion of her freshmen year when she was selected to attend Gamma Phi Beta’s national convention in Dallas, TX on behalf of the Bentley chapter—where she attended leadership workshops—she has been able to hone her skillset and apply all that she has learned to the organizations she is so passionate about here at Bentley. Some of the organizations that she has been integral to are the Women’s Leadership Program, Dresses to Dreams, and First-Year Seminar peer leadership program—among others.
As a senior, Kayla has been a four-year member of the Women’s Leadership Program in which she is a member of the inaugural class. To join the program today, prospective students must apply and go through a selective process. When Kayla joined the program, the new members were handpicked and offered admission into the inaugural class—an early testament to their standout leadership. Since being in the program, she has served on the student advisory board, tasked with planning events and managing the mentorship program, and is also a Liberty Leader. Liberty Leaders are ten students from the inaugural class that were selected to further foster their already exemplar leadership with the help of Liberty Mutual, a founding sponsor of the organization. With the conclusion of her time in the program drawing near, she can’t believe how far it has come in the years she has been a part of it and hopes that it will continue its growth into the future to educate the next generation of women leaders.
More recently, with a sudden leadership vacancy within the Dresses to Dreams organization, Kayla was asked to take on the role—she happily obliged. Dresses to Dreams, run through the Bentley Gender and Sexuality Student Programs office, helps underprivileged girls in the Boston-area attend their school-sponsored formal events, despite the financial burdens. Acting as a nonprofit, the organization collects dresses and accessories through the year which culminates in a boutique-type setup where girls can come in and pick out their formal attire. The organization also provides lessons on hair and makeup as well as how to build and structure a resumé. With the university closed last Spring however, Kayla and the leadership team acted quickly to move the whole event virtual. In doing so, they setup a website with an online store to select dresses and accessories. They also held tutorials and lessons over Zoom to not let the restrictions hamper the event.
For Kayla, her freshmen year was a tough adjustment from high school to college—as it is for many new college students. And during her freshmen year, she cites the peer leaders that were part of the First Year Seminar program (FYS) for helping her get through that year. Due to this help she received, she decided to give back and take on the same role to help freshmen who are experiencing the same struggles that she went through. As an FYS peer leader, Kayla has been able to help struggling students as well as refine her leadership skills and apply them to the various other organizations she is in.
While the changes brought on by the pandemic have touched almost every aspect of our daily lives and have more often than not been hinderances, Kayla has only become a stronger leader and more experienced strategist for adapting to and taking on these challenges. Most notably, the entire restructuring of Dresses to Dreams’ main event was an example of how she utilized her diverse skillset to have success in challenging times. Additionally, her continued success in helping to shape the Women’s Leadership Program over the past four years has shown what she is capable of when given the reins. Not to mention her selfless dedication to helping new students while incidentally strengthening her leadership skills, subsequently applying them to other areas to help even more people. Kayla is a natural leader who will undoubtedly continue to excel after she graduates in the Spring.