• Hometown: Boulder Creek, California
  • Most Interesting Project: Researching US relations with Hungary
  • Future Goal: Advocate for equality for LGBTQ youth

At Mills, Annabella discovered an inclusive community of students and professors that encouraged her to go beyond fulfilling requirements and explore her passion. She's made friends who support her interests and identity and who encourage her to reach for excellence in every area of life. During her first year, she discovered a love for international relations and wants to advocate for equality for LGBTQ youth.

How did you choose your major? I haven’t yet declared my major, however I’m interested in pursuing international relations because it incorporates economics, politics, policy, and law and places it all in a global context. It takes a theoretical approach to issues of international diplomacy and war and peace efforts. I'm passionate about this subject because I feel that an understanding of these topics is necessary to comprehend policy and diplomatic efforts, which affect the lives of all people. With my degree I hope to find satisfying work I enjoy that helps lift up others.

Have any of your professors been especially supportive? I cannot stress enough how encouraging and wise the professors are, and how much they’ve helped me through my college experience. One professor in particular, Dr. Calefas-Strebelle, has had a large impact on my future goals. She’s been so supportive of me since the day we met at Orientation. Her passion and search for knowledge inspires me to go beyond what I can do and strive toward my very best.

Have you received aid from Mills that makes college more affordable for you? I received a scholarship that allows me to focus on my schoolwork and the community here supports me and enables me to thrive. The community that Mills tries to create is one of all kinds of students from different backgrounds and circumstances.

Have you connected with the campus community? At Mills I’ve tried to be more sociable than I generally am, and have made friends who have always been there for me. The theme I chose for first-year housing also allowed me to connect with other LGBTQ students on campus, and I’ve always felt very at home here. Many students are passionate about causes and share their experiences, which has allowed me to gain a wider perspective and has encouraged me to take action.

How will you use your education to create positive change for others? I’d like to push this country toward greater equality in every area where it’s currently failing. I specifically feel a deep desire to help LGBTQ youth, especially those who don’t have as much support and access to information as I do.