Lisa Bell’s Boys & Girls Clubs experience is unlike any you’ll find in Central Florida. During her summers growing up in Idaho, a group from the Club would take a bush plane into the Pacific Northwest wilderness with 40-pound backpacks of supplies and spend two weeks hiking and camping.
“That experience taught me life lessons like self-reliance, teamwork and really the basic principles of survival,” Bell says. “It was incredible being surrounded by Club members and friends, in addition to the most beautiful scenery anywhere. I developed friendships, which last to this day.”
Like so many youth, the trajectory of her life changed because of her involvement in the organization. In fact, she says she wouldn’t be the main anchor at WKMG Local 6 today without it.
Bell was the Idaho Youth of the Year and Pacific Northwest regional winner in 1999. She traveled to Washington D.C. and met Colin Powell and Denzel Washington. She also had a meeting with President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office – all at 17 years old.
After returning to Idaho, she started college as a finance major. But, at the local organization’s annual gala, the news director of the local CBS television station approached Bell and asked if she wanted to be their weathercaster. She was still a freshman in college.
“I didn’t think I would be hired because I knew nothing about the weather,” said Bell. “But by March, I was the weathercaster for KLEW-TV.”
She changed her major, interned at the CBS station in Boston and moved to the Orlando market in 2007. Bell says she knew early on she wanted to work in the Sunshine State because “a lot of news happens in Florida.”
She still owns the Boys & Girls Clubs T-shirts she had in her youth and still likes to explore the outdoors as much as possible. She’s taking her 1-year-old son back to Idaho soon to see the grandeur of where she once spent so much time.
“As he gets older, I can’t wait to take him camping in a tent or even build our own shelter out of tree branches,” she says. “The world we live in is so beautiful.”