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Julia Steen '19

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Majors in English Literature and Classics

Julia just landed a job as a residential counselor at Boys Hope Girls Hope.

Julia Steen '19

What have you been doing since graduating from Knox?

Immediately after graduating, I worked at City Year Milwaukee. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after college and I thought that doing an AmeriCorps program would be a good way to explore some career options and figure out my next steps. I spent the year working as a student success coach in a Milwaukee Public High School. I had the pleasure of working with ninth graders in their English classes. It was certainly a challenging year, but I loved working with students and learned a lot about myself and about the numerous inequities in the educational system.

I am about to move to Evanston, Illinois, to start working at a group home called Boys Hope Girls Hope, where I will be a residential counselor at the boys' home. BHGH is a nonprofit organization that provides teens in need with educational opportunities. I'm excited to continue working with young people and creating a positive home environment in which the scholars can thrive academically and interpersonally.

Describe your time at Knox and the impact your education has had on your after-Knox life.

My Knox education has prepared me for whatever life throws at me. I’m a critical and independent thinker and have found that my liberal arts education has made me a great problem-solver. Knox has taught me to always ask for the “why” behind things—whether that be why is this student acting out, why do we do things this way and how can we make things simpler, or why do the young people I serve have such different lived experiences than I did. Now that I know how to ask the “why,” I can start the process of looking for solutions.

Can you describe a favorite memory or two from your time at Knox?

My favorite Knox memories all involve either the swim team or the water polo team. Jonathan Powers is an amazing coach and person, and he and my teammates shaped my entire time at Knox. I always loved staying over winter break for training and for our annual Ugly Sweater Party.

Why is Knox important to you?

Knox is important to me because of the people I met there. From my amazing professors to my lifelong friends, Knox people are great people.

Anything else you’d like to mention about Knox or in general?

It’s absolutely okay to graduate and not have a career path mapped out. There’s so much pressure to have a concrete plan and a predetermined life trajectory, but trying out new things, exploring lots of options, and finding your way slowly is okay. I think that AmeriCorps programs are great for people who don’t know what they want to do—the hours are long and the pay isn’t great, but the experience will certainly be valuable in other ways.

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Printed on Monday, May 20, 2024