Julie comes to Friends of the Children with more than 25 years of experience in youth development and non-profit leadership serving youth and families in communities across the country. Following college, she taught English to youth and war veterans in Eritrea, East Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. Upon returning stateside, she joined the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council, supporting middle and high school youth across Northern New Mexico as an Educational Advisor through the federally funded TRIO Talent Search program.
Still young and unaware of how good she had it living in Santa Fe, she moved to Chicago where she joined the East Village Youth Program, continuing to support middle - college age youth towards educational access and personal success. Upon the birth of her first of three children, she returned to her hometown of St. Louis, MO, joining the YWCA of Metro St. Louis and quickly moving into the role of Youth Division Director, where she oversaw a complex range of youth and adult programs focused on empowering girls and women, and eliminating racism.
Prior to joining Friends of the Children in 2022, she served for more than a decade as the executive director for Aim High St. Louis, fostering the educational and social-emotional development of adolescents experiencing poverty and other systemic inequities. She’s thrilled to be part of this powerful, evidence driven mission that promotes justice and equity in service to the greater good.