Aryelle first showed her determination and passion to enact social change in high school when she authored and published the book A is for Awkward: A Guide to Surviving Middle School, which addresses the challenges faced by middle school students and how they can develop the resiliency to overcome them. Aryelle also co-organized the March for Our Lives protest in 2018 as a response to the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida. She brought her strong desire to make an impact to UNC Asheville, where she has as an Engagement Advisor with the Key Center for Community Engaged Learning and the Community Coordinator for our Student Government Association. In the local community, she is the Regional Manager and Coordinator for Camp Girl Boss, a leadership and entrepreneurship camp for girls, and she also works with the In Real Life after school program with Asheville City Schools. Her declared major in Entrepreneurship and Community Justice is a clear signal that Aryelle is poised to make a significant impact on the social and equity issues facing society in the near and distant future.
During my transition from elementary school to middle school, I struggled with mental health issues as did many of my classmates. I realized that good self-esteem is critical to middle school success and decided to write a book entitled “A is for Awkward: A Guide to Surviving Middle School,” which helps middle school students understand the importance of resilience and mental health.
A few years later, after the devastating school shooting in Parkland, Florida, I felt compelled to elevate student voices. I became a lead organizer of March for Our Lives Asheville, where thousands joined to advocate for gun violence prevention. During this time, I noticed that intersectionality was often dismissed in social movements that involved primarily White activists, and sought out racial equity and wellness trainings to better educate myself to be a more conscientious leader.
My passion for equity and adolescent empowerment led me to join the team of Camp Girl Boss, a program that teaches girls leadership and entrepreneurship principles, where I serve as Regional Manager and Coordinator. Most recently, I declared a major in Entrepreneurship and Community Justice, which I hope offers me the opportunity to continue to support mental health and social justice initiatives.