2560 Soquel Ave. Suites 201, 204, 205 Santa Cruz, CA 95062  |   831-331-5611  |  santacruzlearningcenter@gmail.com​​​​

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Malika Bell, M.S.

​     Hello! I'm Malika, the director of the learning center. I teach math, science, English, criminology and law, and psychology. In addition, I develop the various programs at the center like our summer and after school camps. I work with high school and middle school students as an academic advocate and I tutor in math, and science and work with students (of all ages) on education executive function skills. I'm dedicated to the success of the young people of our community including their academics and their general well-being.
    I believe that my nontraditional education and career history allows me insight into the various pathways toward learning and understanding. Academics didn't come easy for me early-on and I struggled with reading and writing throughout childhood. It is because of the patience and encouragement of the mentors and educators in my life that I became a successful college graduate. Now, as a mentor and educator myself, I feel blessed to pay it forward to my community. Until 2016, I worked concurrently at UC Santa Cruz as the Director of STEM Diversity Programs. I was a re-entry college student (six years after graduating from Santa Cruz High in 1992) and transferred from Cabrillo College to UC Santa Cruz where I received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Chemistry. My research was in marine natural products as well as bioinorganic chemistry involving the photochemistry of nitric oxide.     
     I graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1992 one year early due to the extra credits that I earned during my Sophomore year traveling around the world conducting community service with The Global Youth Exchange. Prior to starting college, I trained at the Santa Cruz Women's Health Center to be a phlebotomist and a clinical laboratory assistant. I worked at Unilab, Santa Cruz Medical Clinic (before it was PAMF), and performed home visits to do medical exams for life insurance applicants. In addition I spent several years (seems like a lifetime ago!) in the food service industry at the lovely India Joze Restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz. When I transferred to UC Santa Cruz from Cabrillo College, I was granted the Gates Millennium Scholarship, which allowed me the opportunity to focus on my schoolwork instead of having to continue to work to put myself through college. I have been teaching and tutoring since college and I was raised by a local homeschooling consultant teacher for AFE (Patty Palazzo). 
     During my time off, I enjoy spending time with my family in my hometown of Santa Cruz. I have a fantastic husband (Nate Bell) and two exuberant daughters (Leilani and Ruby.