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Erica D. F.

Updated: Aug 30

University of California DAVIS

B.A. Psychology, Human Development minor

Congrats Class of 2021 Bella Foundation
A lot of the unexpected might be thrown at you when you're not ready, but these times are important for your growth and will prove to be worth the struggles.
Erica Dhel Grad 2021

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that although I may always have something difficult going on personally, or with school, I am always able to push through.


2020 & 2021 were extremely challenging under the confinement and constant menace of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hopefully there were some silver lining and lessons learned.

Tell us about the highlights and accomplishments of this academic year 2020/21, in spite of all!

As the employer I worked for continued to open, shut down, and reopen at the beginning of the pandemic, I decided to find a new job that would be much more stable especially during COVID. This has led me to discovering a field that I plan to stay in for awhile, and I am also deciding to attend grad school for.


Thinking of the whole 4 years, what were the greatest challenges you faced? How did you overcome them?

  1. Losing all of my financial aid. I contacted my support resources such as Bella, uAspire, the financial aid office, and my academic advisor to come up with a plan for myself to continue at UC Davis.

  2. Highly struggling in STEM courses, barely passing these classes. I found a major I was interested in and switched majors despite the stigma, and what my parents wanted from me.

Do what YOU want to do.

If you could go back in time 4 years ago, what would you tell your 18 year old self? If you could do-over, what would you do differently?

Don't do what others want you to do. Do what YOU want to do. If I could do-over, I may have chosen a different school that I would have enjoyed more, as well as choosing Psychology as my major from the start.


What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?

You won't know everything going in, but that's why there's resources, especially for freshman. There is a lot of people to reach out to along with other online or on-campus resources. Use them if you need to and don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for help.


Please list a few of your proudest accomplishments or highlights from attending college. (e.g. art project, study abroad, new skill, honors...)

  • increasing my GPA in the last 1.5 years after having some initial hard times

  • continuing my education despite the financial difficulties I faced

Now that you have graduated, have you formulated any new short term/ long term goals?

Grad School! I'm enrolling next year or as soon as possible!


How did being a Bella Scholar contribute to the success of achieving your goals?

I received so much support that has drastically impacted my education. Without Bella, I would not be able to finish in June 2021, or at all. I was also able to learn some things in the workshop before starting college which helped ease the transition a bit.






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