Hello! I am Julia, the author of this blog.
I am a native Seattleite who loves food and travel, and I graduated from Washington State University in May 2011 with a bachelor's in psychology. Now, I am setting off to pursue my dream of exploring Latin America and getting fluent in Spanish. I'm also going abroad to get some real world social work experience before I go to graduate school to get a Master of Social Work degree. Fluency in Spanish will allow me to make as big an impact as possible with students, families, and communities as a school social worker in the future.
Just in case you were wondering, here's a good definition of what school social workers do: they focus on the school, the community, the student, and the interactions among the three. School social workers serve as mediators, negotiators, consultants, and advocates for students and school personnel, listening to student grievances and helping hook people up with services that will get them the best quality of education. It is my goal to have students know themselves as capable individuals who powerfully graduate from high school and pursue their post high school aspirations. By working with challenged and underprivileged students to remove their barriers to success, these children will be more likely to be an asset to our communities and the world.
My Travel Plans
My first step (and stop) was Guadalajara, Mexico, where I took a week of Spanish classes and did a homestay. The next week I went to Lima, Peru, for another week of classes and homestay, followed by Arequipa. In Arequipa I spent my first 5 months volunteering for a social business called Traveller Not Tourist, working in Casa Hogar Luz Alba orphanage and Flora Tristan English School. From May onwards, I started working for the NGO Helping Overcome Obstacles Peru, (HOOP), whose project is now Flora Tristan English School. My volunteering position is now Volunteer Coordinator/Human Resources Director.
Thank you for checking out my blog and contributing to me so I may contribute to others.