James Madison Prep Junior, Karina Bell, is a True Patriot and Friend

Karina Bell is the epitome of positive. Karina encourages everyone on the campus, from students to staff, with words of affirmation or small gestures of kindness. She has been a mentor to many of the younger students. Karina has been a leader on the Sparx Danceline team since the day she joined, and played the role of a captain to the younger girls this year. Karina tries hard in all that she does, and has a true team player attitude whether that is on group projects or in extracurricular activities. Karina has outstanding character and can always be counted on to guide others to the right choice. Karina is a true Patriot and a true friend.

Q. Can you tell us about being captain of the dance team?
A. I have been a part of Sparx since eighth grade and have always wanted to be a captain – I achieved that goal this year as a Junior. This season, we had the most girls we have ever had on the team and the majority of them were eighth graders. I remember being in their position and feeling lost or overwhelmed when I did not understand certain parts of a dance or cheer. I took it upon myself to make sure all the girls knew what their counts were and that they knew how to do the moves. If they had questions, I wanted them to feel comfortable asking me for help. Another priority I had was making every girl on our team feel loved and letting them know they had a voice that was being heard. I, along with the two Senior captains, hosted a “team bonding event” which had never been done before. I believe that really made a difference in how we worked together as a team.

Q. What makes a strong leader?
A. I believe a strong leader is someone who is an example to those around them at all times. A leader knows they are not perfect and owns up to their mistakes. It is also someone who is honest and kind to everyone, even when a supervisor is not in the room. Another trait of a leader is someone who does not put others down but instead does their best to help others as much as possible. A leader is like a team player; they are selfless and want everyone to succeed too.

Q. Where would you like to see yourself in five years? 10 years?
A. In five years, I see myself going to cosmetology school and getting my Cosmetology license. I would also like to get a degree in “Health and Fitness”. Within the next 10 years, I plan to have a degree, buy my own home, get married and start a family.

Q. Who has been your biggest role model?
A. There are multiple people I look up to such as: the staff on our campus, public figures in history, especially Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and my mom. I also look up to strong women of history like Rosa Parks who know their worth and make a path for other women to succeed.

Q. How has James Madison impacted you?
A. When I came to James Madison as a seventh grader, I was in a very rough spot in my life – I had low self esteem, was moderately shy, and I did not believe in myself. Over the years, the staff, specifically Mrs.Sheaffer, have helped me find myself and allowed me to be the person I wanted to be. I became a kinder, optimistic and more confident person while being a student at James Madison. They taught me to work hard for what I want and to be more selfless. They allow me to try new things every day and they encourage the students to come out of their comfort zones. The staff constantly do their best to help the students succeed and I’m beyond grateful for that.

Q. What do you do for fun?
A. I am passionate about photography and cosmetology. I take pictures of anything and everything and am constantly looking for new makeup and hair styles to try. I have a new love for fitness so I am always doing research and going to the gym. I love hanging out with my friends too and because of my friends, I am now interested in traveling more.

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