Bella Fisher #studentfirst…A passionate person inside the classroom and on the field

Bella Fisher #studentfirst…A passionate person inside the classroom and on the field

Vibrant, potent and empowering.

From the photos of Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris and Oprah Winfrey to self-affirming mantras like “Millionaire Mindset” and “I Will Succeed,” Bella Fisher’s vision board serves as a window into one of Sierra Canyon’s most passionate students.

Every day, Fisher uses her vision board to manifest the success she wants to achieve.

Each item is carefully curated. Each resonates in a different way.

Ultimately what emerges is a confident young woman, a consummate teammate on the Sierra Canyon girls soccer team and an engaged and thought-provoking senior student who is the ideal candidate for Sierra Canyon’s prestigious Student First award.

It is what she wrote about for her college application essay.

“Every morning, I wake up, I look at my vision board and I ask myself what can I do to achieve those goals,” Fisher said.

On the soccer field, Fisher is a lockdown defender for Sierra Canyon, usually marking the opponent’s top offensive player.

In class, Fisher is one of the most engaged students. Her unweighted 3.8 grade-point average has helped her make the Dean’s List, even as she continues to be a virtual student.

Yet her impact remains profound, particularly in Mario Garcia’s Honors English class where he has chosen to highlight an impressive series of black literature.

They were breaking down Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book “Between the World and Me” in class this week in which Coates writes a letter to his teenage son.

“He talks about the hardships of being a black man in America. My father is black, and so is my brother, and with the racial injustice that is happening, it is important to learn,” Fisher said. “These are important topics to talk about, to spread awareness.

“I’m not even done with it yet, but I am loving every page of it so far.”

Fisher and the class have explored works by Jericho Brown, Gloria Naylor, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Baldwin and Zora Neale Hurston in Garcia’s class this semester.

Garcia said Fisher impresses him with her analysis and observations.

“Bella seems to be the compass that navigates our class discussion,” Garcia said. “Here we were, reading ‘Between the World and Me’ in class this week, minutes before hearing the verdict of one of the most significant court cases in our country this week, and she understands its meaning and how it relates to our daily climate so well.

“The observations she makes are really so profound. Like she shouldn’t know this, she’s still just a teenager.”

Fisher said she participated in the Black Student Union on campus before the pandemic but did not participate in the racial injustice protests last summer due to safety concerns.

“My family was uncomfortable about going out with COVID and things going on,” Fisher said. “I want to be more of a voice, to be able to act on my beliefs in a safe way. There are still ways to make an impact. Signing petitions, educating myself as much as possible, educating society and bringing up topics. The small things add up for me.

“In the future, I’d like to be more proactive. I’d like to donate more, I’d like to create my own non-profit organization or be part of an organization that pushes for change, for my children and my children’s children. I want my society to be a safer place.”

Fisher said she has not made a decision on college. She has narrowed it down to Pepperdine or UC Irvine, though she is contemplating the idea of community college for a year before transferring to UCLA or USC depending on whether in-person learning is a viable option as the pandemic continues.

Fisher said she plans to major in business or marketing.

“I want to be able to use my creativity and incorporate with business,” Fisher said. “I want to dip my toes in everything – business, marketing, finance, accounting – and choose the field that comes naturally to me, the field that I end up enjoying the most.”

Fisher has enjoyed a standout soccer career, but said she does not plan to continue in college so she can have more flexibility on her academics and travel.

In fact, soccer gave Fisher her first taste of travel when she represented the National Soccer Academy to compete in the Gothia Cup and Dana Cup when she was 12 years old, venturing to Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and Norway for international soccer matches.

After spending her first two years at Heritage Christian where she was the Olympic League Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, Fisher transferred into Sierra Canyon and became a stalwart on the backline.

“She’s very talented, she’s strong, she’s smart, she’s great on the ball, she’s a winner, a great teammate and an outstanding leader,” Sierra Canyon coach Kristi Walker said. “She reads the game well, is not afraid to lay out the tackle and is good at winning the ball.”

Fisher helped Sierra Canyon to a 14-6-2 record as a junior, sparking the Trailblazers to the Gold Coast League title and into the CIF semifinals before falling to eventual champion Bloomington in a tough 1-0 battle.

“When I first came to Sierra, I struggled with confidence,” Fisher said. “Coach Kristi taught me the importance of body language and how to talk to yourself. She taught me not to get caught up in the mistakes I was making. I felt like I was letting everyone down, but she taught me to move on to move on to the next moment.

“It’s something you can use in your personal life too. You have to be aware of the body language and energy you are giving out. And she showed me I was good enough, strong enough and smart enough.”

Fisher’s confidence soared after a 3-0 quarterfinal victory over Wilson of Hacienda Heights when she shut down USC-bound forward Julia Gomez.

“That was unreal – she did incredible,” Walker said. “She gets out there and means business. She is not afraid to take on the great scorers. If I tell her she needs to mark a player, she is always up for the challenge.”

Walker said Fisher shows her leadership on a daily basis, especially coming back this year in a pandemic-shortened season.

“She is good at reading the environment around her,” Walker said. “If she feels we need to fire up as a team, she fires us up. Or if we need to focus, she brings us all back in.

“She’s a great kid. And she’s always smiling. That makes a big difference.”