headshot of Carla Bellino

Psychology major Carla Bellino '17 brought passion and personal perspective to her recent internship with a nonprofit, female advocacy group.

Psychology major connects soul to sole at nonprofit

December 20, 2017

What if every girl realized the depth of strength already inside her? What kind of force would she be? What kind of ripple effect would this create in her world? Carla Bellino '17 is on a mission to find these answers. 

headshot of Carla BellinoThe psychology major and sociology minor spent the fall and her final semester as a BW intern at Girls With Sole, a nationally recognized non-profit running organization that offers free fitness and wellness programs to help empower adolescent girls by connecting the mind, body and soul. 

Most of the girls served have experienced, or are considered at risk for, sexual assault, domestic or dating violence, human trafficking, substance abuse, gang violence, bullying, incarcerated parents, incest, physical or emotional abuse, or low self-esteem and self-worth.

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"My role in the organization included grant writing and spreading awareness," Bellino explained. "I also led two of the programs at Multi-County Juvenile Attention Center in Canton, Ohio, and volunteered as a teen mentor."

Logo of Girls with SoleThe Independence native said she is deeply inspired by Girls With Sole founder Liz Ferro, who shared her journey of surviving sexual abuse in her book "Finish Line Feeling." Bellino noted that she, too, experienced and overcame personal challenges. "I have recovered from an eating disorder and am a survivor of sexual assault. My experiences have greatly shaped me and led me to want greater things for myself and to help others who are like me.

"I originally got paired with Girls With Sole through a service learning requirement at BW. It was almost like it was meant to be. Liz is a role model for all the girls she serves because she is proof you can overcome any obstacle," Bellino reflected.