Raquel Bell, MNM, MPA — Executive Director
Raquel, a visionary leader, has dedicated nearly a decade of her professional journey to the Foundation for Foster Children, leaving an indelible mark on the organization’s growth and impact. Joining in April 2014 as the Education Program Manager, Raquel swiftly ascended through the ranks, showcasing her expertise in program design, strategic planning, and research.
In November 2017, Raquel’s exceptional knowledge of Foundation program operations, combined with her educational background, led to her promotion as the Senior Manager of Program Operations and Risk Management. Recognizing her ability to craft innovative solutions, Raquel was appointed Director of Programs and Operations in December 2018. Her commitment and transformative leadership resulted in yet another promotion, becoming the Senior Director of Program and Operations in December 2021. The pinnacle of her journey within the Foundation was achieved in October 2023 when Raquel was appointed as the Executive Director. Raquel earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Bethune-Cookman University. She holds a Master of Public Administration Degree, a Master of Nonprofit Management Degree, and a Graduate Certificate in Fundraising from the University of Central Florida. As an Adjunct Professor at Bethune-Cookman University in the Department of International and Public Affairs Studies, Raquel shares her expertise with the next generation of leaders. Additionally, she serves as a consultant to the University and local nonprofits, bridging academia and real-world impact.
Raquel’s journey into the world of child welfare began eight years prior to her tenure at the Foundation. Starting as an intern at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Volusia & Flagler Counties, Raquel worked with child victims of sexual abuse, setting the stage for her commitment to making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children. Her roles as a Dependency Case Manager, Family Advocate, and Program Coordinator in various organizations equipped her with a diverse skill set and a deep understanding of the challenges faced by children in need.
Awards and recognitions attest to Raquel’s exceptional contributions. The B-CU 40 under 40 award from Bethune-Cookman University in 2016 acknowledged her as one of the institution’s youngest, brightest, and most accomplished graduates. In 2017, she earned UCF’s 30 under 30 award, recognizing outstanding alumni who “reach for the stars” in their professional and personal lives. Most recently, in 2023, Raquel earned the Florida Blue Sapphire Award, where Raquel was recognized for her leadership, innovation, and excellence.
Originally from St. Thomas, the United States Virgin Islands, Raquel was raised in Orlando. Beyond her professional achievements, she finds joy in research, reading, and spending quality time with her three children, Marissa, Riley, and Mason, and her husband, Maurice. Raquel’s journey is a testament to her unwavering commitment to fostering positive change in the lives of children and families.