Tell us about yourself. (Name, grade, school, Italian heritage, a few things you do)
My name is Joelle Gonnella, and I am a Senior at Bloomfield High School. I will be taking Italian 4 Honors in the fall and proud to say I have been inducted into the World Language Honor Society. I am a member of the Italian Club, Co-President of The BHS Glamour Gals, whose primary monthly activity is visiting a local nursing home to give companionship and manicures to our senior citizens. As a Bengal Paws Volunteer, I read to elementary students during “Read Across America” week and as a BHS Peer Leader I mentor incoming freshman students. I am also a Varsity Cheerleader, Scholar Athlete and in my spare time, I volunteer as a cheerleading coach for the Bloomfield Jr. Bengals Recreational Cheerleading Program.
How long have you been an intern and what have you done with UNICO so far?
As a Senior, this is my second year as a UNICO intern. I’ve been involved with the Columbus Day pancake breakfast, the GlamourGals/UNICO visit to the Job Haines nursing home, and also formalized a presentation to help our chapters members familiarize themselves with Instagram, a social media app, so they can follow and stay up to date with current Bloomfield UNICO posts. It was also my pleasure to help organize a graduation video for our senior interns Anna and Rosa. I am currently involved with the redesign of the Bloomfield UNICO website. In addition, I attend both Board and General meetings to help with clerical responsibilities.
Why did you decide to apply for an internship?
I decided to apply for the UNICO internship because my very close friend Anna always spoke so fondly of it. Once I heard her talking about it, I wanted to get involved! The motto “Service Above Self” is also something I truly believe in. I am passionate about my italian heritage which is a big reason I decided to get involved!
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation I would like to attend a university either in New Jersey or Florida. A career goal I am very interested in is becoming a teacher. Knowing that I can be a part of helping students with their success is something I really value. Other careers and interests I would like to pursue are in business and fashion.
How has being an intern at UNICO put your goals in reach?
Being a UNICO Intern has really helped me to put my goals in reach. My experiences, so far, have taught and provided me with opportunities to use skills that I will need in life. When I attend UNICO meetings I experience a professional setting with adult interaction.
How will you continue to stay active within UNICO and the Bloomfield community?
Staying active with UNICO is very important to me and I plan on becoming a Youth Member once I turn 18. Staying involved in the Bloomfield Community is something I definitely see in my future. In addition to being a member of UNICO I would love to stay active in the Jr. Bengals Cheerleading program by being a mentor and helping the younger athletes to succeed and achieve their goals. As the saying goes, “Once a Bengal always a Bengal.”