Her experience with cancer in her family led Palmer Trinity School junior Tianna Schiappa Pietra to volunteer at Live Like Bella, a non-profit that supports families going through the fight against cancer. “It [cancer] was a constant thing in my life, from fifth to 10th grade.
That’s why I’m so passionate about Live Like Bella. It’s a part of me.”
Pietra’s brother had cancer while in high school and her mother passed away from cancer last year. When she was seeking volunteer opportunities, she went to the community service chair at school and was put in touch with the Live Like Bella organization.
“I want to not only help the people who have it, but the families,” she said.
Pietra goes to the Live Like Bella offices three times a week for a couple hours.
“They’ll raise money and give them gas cards or food cards — or a tablet,” she said.
Her family has been involved in raising funds for cancer research by organizing a 5K race held at Palmer Trinity. The race has been on hiatus, but she hopes to bring it back next year.
Pietra has been on the varsity soccer team since eighth grade and team captain since 10th grade. As a freshman, she went to the state soccer tournament and believes that next year’s team has the potential to return.
Pietra is in the Hispanic Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and an officer in Best Buddies. She also volunteers at Breakthrough Miami. She works as an academic teacher, a tutor and helps teach a dance elective.
“I love working with the kids,” she said.
She is considering majoring in English in college (she loves writing), but education also is a possibility.
“Breakthrough allows us to try teaching,” she said.
In the summers, she works at the Alexander Montessori Camp.
“Sometimes I work with the preschoolers and sometimes with the elementary kids,” she said. “I love that as well.”
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld