CATEGORY: Media/Community Activism
PROFESSION/ORGANIZATION: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Ariel Campbell is a multitalented 24 year-old Jamaican living in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is an actress, dancer, radio personality, special education teacher, and social justice activist. Born in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica, Ariel immigrated with her mother and sister to Brooklyn, New York at the age of 6. She later graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor’s degree in Radio-TV & Film at 22 years-old, and graduated from UNLV with a Master’s degree in Special Education at 23 years-old.
During her time at Howard University, she held several leadership positions. She was the executive secretary of the Caribbean Student Association (CSA), and the dance captain of Tropical Riddimz, the Caribbean dance team. At the beginning of her freshmen year at Howard University, Ariel was crowned the first Miss Howard University CSA in 2011. After graduating Howard University, she moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to begin her role as a Teach for America corps member and special education teacher.
She currently teaches an amazing group of diverse kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students at Martin Luther King Jr. elementary school. When she is not investing her time as a special education teacher, she is very involved in the Las Vegas community. She is a part of a local non-profit organization and hip-hop dance group called Culture Shock. The dance group performs throughout Las Vegas and Los Angeles for competitions, social causes, and fundraising events. She also volunteers monthly at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, where she serves lunch and dinner at the soup kitchen line and brings food to the members of the community. She is also part of the REB carpet films club at UNLV, where she acts in different short films that bring awareness to social issues. Ariel also has her own radio show on UNLV’s radio station, 91.5 The Rebel-HD2. Her radio show is called Big-Up Afro-Caribbean night and she plays a variety of African and Caribbean music every Saturday night from 6pm-8pm. In addition, Ariel is a Transitional Team Leader (TTL) for Teach for America, which consists of her providing resources to help new teachers transition to teaching in Las Vegas.
Ariel has received several awards for her community and professional work. Most recently, she was the recipient of the “Personal Growth” Award presented by her Teach for America mentor/coach. She is a newly certified Zumba instructor and CIZE LIVE dance fitness instructor. After her second year of teaching, she will pursue her dreams of being a professional dancer and dance instructor. Her goal in life is to teach dance to a population of young people in urban neighborhoods, who lack the funds and access to receive quality dance fitness classes. She believes that it’s very important for students to have the opportunity to free activities that maintain their health and academic success. The idea of choosing to be happy and choosing to live a life that she loves has become her life mantra. She lives by the quote “Never stop dreaming. All dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”