From North Shore Weekend Newspaper. Saturday, November 4, 2017
Standout Student: Future Attorney Adams represents Regina Dominican quite well
Arabella “Bella” Adams’ first language is Serbian, having spoken it for the first five years of her life.
The Regina Dominican High School senior speaks English fluently and has always loved the Spanish language and culture. She studied Chinese for a decade.
Adams created something two years ago that didn’t need translation. She drew a smiling woman, with one of her pencils that her art teacher, Mrs. Murray, had given her as a gift.
The drawing depicted Bella’s mother, Marina, who died when Bella was a first-semester freshmen.
“I received so much support from the Regina Dominican community after the death of my mother,” Adams, a Winnetkan, says. “Teachers, my friends, everybody was there for me. My mom was very hardworking, fun and positive. To receive that set of drawing pencils from Mrs. Murray was thoughtful, such a special gift from a sweet person,” she adds.
A visit to Mrs. Murray’s classroom, during a Regina Dominican High School open house, enthralled Adams when she was an eighth-grader and a hoopster in New Trier’s feeder basketball program.
“I looked around her classroom, and every piece of artwork looked amazing,” Adams recalls. “A combination of factors made me want to attend Regina; seeing that art was one of them, and shadowing a student was another.”
Adams joined the art club at RDHS and became a member of the school’s National Art Honors Society. She also earned membership in Regina Dominican’s National Honors and National English Honors societies, as well as in the school’s Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica.
The founder of the Alliance Club at RDHS has been a Leadership Institute Scholar at the Wilmette school since her freshman year.
The 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program named Adams a Commended Student, a distinction given to the top five percent of students who took the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. More than 1.6 million students took the exam.
“I ask for help a lot, and I get it at Regina Dominican,” says Adams, who plays the guitar and ukulele and also likes to sketch, paint and take photographs. “I never hesitate to ask questions. Through the years I’ve developed really close and valuable relationships with my teachers.”
Her course schedule this semester is loaded with challenges, beginning with her first class in the morning, AP literature. After that? AP calculus followed by AP physics.
“Boom, boom, boom,” Adams also a peer tutor at RDHS, says of the AP troika. Her fourth class is Spanish 5 honors. Adams’ final two classes each day are honors psychology and world religions.
The daughter of Joesph and the sister of Vivienne, 14 and Bridget, 11, aims to be an attorney someday. She is particularly interested in immigration law.
“I’ve wanted to be an attorney for as long as I can remember, maybe since the fifth grade,” Adams says, “I would love to be a human or civil rights. That should be a given, right?”
Adams’ grandmother, Mirjana- a big fan of Serbian tennis great Novak Djokovic, lives in Evanston. Three of Bella’s aunts also reside in the Chicago area.
“I talk with my aunts once or twice a month,” she says. “They’re hard-working, strong women.”
Bella Adams found strength in September of her freshman year, shortly after her mother had perished. She found warmth, too, each time she set foot on the RDHS campus.
“I am most proud of keeping up with my schoolwork,” Adams says of her resolve in the wake of tragic news at a young age. “I needed support then, and the people at [RDHS] recognized that and did what they could to help me.”