Bella Schelhaas Started the Black Student Alliance Club. This is her story.


Andrew Chalmers and Abby Holbrook

Bella Schelhaas is now a Senior at Arapahoe High School, but her story starts her Freshman year in 2017.

It was just a normal day after basketball practice for Bella. She was waiting for her older sister Brooklyn to pick her up and then something happened that changed her life. As she was standing outside, the worst derogatory term one could imagine “Stabbed straight through MY GIRL by a cowardly fool as she stood alone.” Bella’s mom Karen Schelhaas stated that in a story she wrote about the incident, as I will be using that story throughout this article.

About 10 minutes later, Brooklyn arrived and found Bella crouched down by the car. “Brooklyn’s rage burned hot on the drive home and she barely got them to the house in one piece.” After they got home, Bella’s phone started blowing up with uplifting words, but it could never heal a wound that big.

Bella explained in an interview with Arapahoe Senior and close friend of Bella, Abby Holbrook, why she started the Black Student Alliance Club (BSA). Bella says, “As I experienced racism Freshman year, I felt very alone through all of it…The biggest reason why I started this club is because I do not want anyone else to feel the way I did when I was racially abused. I want this club to be a place people can talk about anything so they will not feel alone through racism.”

She also talks about how she wants this club to keep going even when she is gone from Arapahoe and even grow to all of LPS. She finished by saying, “I want to make Arapahoe better than I found it.”

Bella’s courage and strength to go through this horrific incident and make a club out of it is inspiring. Bella is not the only person to experience this sort of  racism in our community, and this club will definitely help people who are scared to talk about what has happened to them. This club is just the start of making Arapahoe even better than it is now.  The more people talk about their hardships with people they trust, the better our community will be, because people fear talking about their own personal struggles. 

Whatever you are going through, I promise you are not alone. Bella’s club is meant to be a place where people can talk about racism and how they have experienced it so they will not feel alone through it like Bella was. The Black Student Alliance Club is a place where students can talk about their own experiences and feel loved and supported through their own healing process. Bella has sparked change in our community, and she is most definitely on her way to making Arapahoe, and our community, a much better place than she found it.