Jody Bell ’23 • Riverside, CT


Jody Bell ’23 • Riverside, CT

International Business major and International Studies minor 

Ketner Emerging Leaders Scholar 

Hale-Westbury Scholar 

Silverman Secular Humanist Scholar 

Guy and Betty Beatty Scholar 

When most of us were 16 years old, we were focused on getting our driver’s license, enjoying high school, considering where we wanted to go to college, figuring out what our adult lives would be like, or all of these things at once.  

Not Jody Bell. At 16, Bell already knew what she wanted to do. She created her first non-profit, In Case of Deportation, an organization focused on informing Americanborn children of undocumented parents or guardians of how to prepare for parental deportation. Now a sophomore at the College of Charleston, Bell herself is the beneficiary of philanthropy and realizes that its importance is two-fold. 

“At its core, philanthropy is an act of service, and that’s why I am so passionate about it,” Bell says.  “For me personally, there is this sense of purpose that is just incredibly overwhelming when you begin to recognize the magnitude of the problem you are aiding. Because of my educational pursuits and philanthropic calling, I was unable to pick up those extra shifts at work after school or devote my time to sports and other extracurricular activities. My donors and the scholarships they created allow me the space and time for philanthropic exploration. Scholarships have given me the financial freedom to continue my community service work while also pursuing an education that will maximize my impact in the future. 

Because of her scholarshipsBell is able to focus on her dream of supporting and fighting for those in need. During her first year at the College, she started three activism initiatives and plans on being a speaker at the March 2021 TedX symposium, while also working on research projects and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She hopes to continue her education and enroll in law school where she hopes to go into discrimination law. Bell’s story is a true testament to the cyclical power of philanthropy.