Julie Walker, or “Miss Julie,” as she is known to her friends and neighbors, is a strong believer in the power of education and affordable housing. The 37-year old mother of two has earned an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor’s of Arts and Science in Social Work and is currently finishing a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, all while living at a Mercy Housing Southeast property called Terraces at Parkview in Lithonia, GA. Resident Services programs, utilization of the on-site computer lab and assistance from Resident Services Coordinator Wendy Pickens have helped give Miss Julie the support she needs to accomplish these goals and pursue her biggest dream of becoming a full-time teacher.
So it’s no wonder that when staff from Congressman Henry “Hank” Johnson’s office (4th District of Georgia) visited the Terraces at Parkview in May of this year, Miss Julie was at the top of the list to give tours of the property and share her experiences. She spoke with Congressman Johnson’s staff about Federal policy priorities and the importance of affordable housing like Terraces at Parkview. Miss Julie provided a firsthand account of how stable, safe and affordable housing combined with resident services can be a platform for someone to reach their full potential.
Miss Julie has extended her passion for education and pride in her community to many areas at the Terraces at Parkview. “Miss Julie is a role model to other residents here,” says Resident Services Coordinator Wendy Pickens. “She leads by example and runs programs in the evenings and on the weekends that help youth at Terraces at Parkview learn to be good stewards of their community.” Not surprisingly, when volunteers were requested for a Resident Leadership Team at Terraces at Parkview, Miss Julie was the first resident to respond.
This year has been a busy one for Miss Julie. Between school, community leadership activities and political activism, this summer she still found time to begin submitting her resume for her dream job. Late this September, Miss Julie received the news she’d been waiting for. She has officially been offered a full time position as a second grade teacher in Clayton County. “Miss Julie truly is a testament to what can be done when someone has just a little bit of support,” says Wendy Pickens. “She knows she and her children have a safe place to call home. That frees her up to pursue her dreams of building a better life for her and her children. She’s consistently on the Dean’s List; she graduated summa cum laude; the sky’s the limit for Miss Julie. And we salute her, not only for what she has accomplished up to now, but for everything we know she will accomplish in her future.”