The Bella Charitable Foundation was founded to help provide educational opportunities for first generation, immigrant, and low-income underserved students. We offer programs and scholarships so that students and youth can create their own best life and lead with purpose.
The vision of the the Bella Charitable Foundation is to maximize human potential and quality of life of individuals and global communities.
The Bella Charitable Foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of individuals and communities by providing both formal education and life-long learning opportunities for impoverished, underserved and low socioeconomic populations.
Our overarching educational goal is to increase socioeconomic advancement for San Francisco Bay Area youths by:
supporting each student’s academic success throughout high school, college, and beyond; including personal growth through positive mindsets
increasing college affordability for low-income students, Latinos, immigrant youth, undocumented students and first generation college students
supporting and working collaboratively with organizations that provide social-emotional and academic support, an affordable tract to college and college persistence
collaborating with organizations and businesses that create innovative learning opportunities through extra-curricular activities which provide new experiences while building character and leadership skills
providing access to work-study or internship programs
The Bella Charitable Foundation was started by husband and wife team Juan Jaen and Anita Galeana. Juan was the oldest of four children and was born in a small port town in Southern Spain. His family relocated to Madrid when he was a young boy, so that he and his siblings could get a better education and attend college.
He graduated from high school at age 16 and earned a scholarship with AFS to attend one year of high school in Livonia, Michigan. That year, while attending a new school in a foreign country, he learned how to speak English and met his future wife, Anita.
After spending one year of high school in the U.S., he returned home to Madrid and was the first in his family to receive a college degree from the Universidad Complutense in 1980. Juan returned to Michigan to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan, where he received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry 10 years after first arriving in the U.S.
Juan and Anita married in 1981 after Anita finished her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The couple settled in Ann Arbor, Michigan, so that Juan could finish his degree while Anita worked as an Intensive Care Nurse in Cardiology at the University of Michigan Medical Center. A few years later, Juan began his medicinal chemistry career at Warner-Lambert Parke-Davis, also located in Ann Arbor.
Eventually the couple moved to the San Francisco Bay Area so that Juan could pursue a career in biotechnology. Anita retired from her nursing career to stay at home to raise their four children, while pursuing piano studies through the Adult Extension Division at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Juan has been engaged in all aspects of drug discovery and development for more than 30 years. Since 2015, he has been leading Research & Development (R&D) in the area of cancer immunotherapies at Arcus Biosciences, a start-up company he co-founded in 2015. Prior to that, he was co-founder and President/Head of R&D at Flexus Biosciences.
Throughout the years, Anita worked with several non-profit organizations in her community, dedicated to education. Anita now runs the BCF with help from her four grown children and Juan. Their greatest joy in life is their family and helping a new generation of students attend and succeed in school and college.