Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Focus: Public Finance and Budgeting and Non-Profit Management
Bio: Hi, my name is Julie and I am a California transplant in Seattle for the past 4 years. Born and raised in Orange County, CA and received my B.A. in Political Science from University of California, Santa Barbara – the Golden State has and will always be my home but now, Seattle and Washington are a really, really CLOSE second! Growing up watching my first-generation Vietnamese immigrant parents working hard to acclimate and provide stability for both me and my brother, it motivated me to do more for not just myself but for my community as well. Recognizing the importance of education and communication, I have spent the last decade as teacher and instructor empowering individuals and communities addressing those barriers in Paris, France, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and through AmeriCorps, I was able to do those same things here in Seattle and Tacoma! These cumulative experiences have shaped me and further motivated me to analyze and figure out how to further impact and empower my community. With this in mind, I have spent the past few years as an Accredited Financial Counselor assisting and guiding Tacoma Housing Authority voucher holders through their financial journeys toward self-sufficiency and first-time homeownership. Now, in hopes to continue advocating for all those in my community, I am serving as an Advisory Board Member for the YMCA Earth Service Corps and a Commissioner for the City of Tacoma’s Human Rights Commission and in their Policy and Advocacy committee. When I’m not studying, volunteering, or working, you can find me on a plane traveling somewhere or in one of my current hobby-dabbling projects, which includes making alcohol art paintings, attempting to make cups on a pottery wheel, or learning how to create a tea garden in my backyard.
Why did you choose Evans? Being out of school for more than five years, I was hesitant about returning to school. However, I recognized that in order for me to do more and contribute further, I needed to learn more, gain a stronger understanding of the systems, and strengthen my skills! This first-year has been challenging but absolutely worth it. The professors are willing to take the time to answer questions and having the office hour time to further engage with professors on different topics really does make for a better learning experience. Also, the Evans cohort model has provided additional support because everyone is going through the first-year together and everyone is willing to collaborate and help each other. It makes for a good learning environment and I am grateful for the friends I have made so far here. PLUS, the Evans MPA program is highly-ranked and it’s located in Seattle!
Ask me about: Balancing being a full-time student with a full-time workload; Adjusting to the cloudy, rainy Seattle skies; Fried chicken recommendations; Community service and volunteering options; Consumer finance and taxes