Julia Schroeder is definitely in the right place to achieve some of her lifetime goals of growing as a writer and a teacher. But those are just some of her interests and activities, which include everything from hosting a podcast to hula-hooping.
“I feel grown-ups can learn just as much from kids as kids learn from grown-ups,” says Julia, the program assistant on Monday nights at Cluster’s expanded meeting time at Fair Oaks Church in Oak Park. “I think it’s important to surround ourselves with people of all ages so we can better understand and support one another.”
Julia’s main role at Cluster is to connect students and tutors and make sure all materials such as Chromebooks are ready for student use. “My goal is to help each student and tutor get the most out of the Cluster Tutoring Program at Fair Oaks.” She also will share updates and highlights, including photos, on Cluster’s Instagram page.
Julia is a native of Oak Park, a member of Fair Oaks Church, and a graduate of Oak Park-River Forest High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Northern Michigan University with a minor in writing. After internships and working for various startups in Chicago, she moved to Denver to work for Awards & Engraving magazine as a digital content editor. The COVID-19 pandemic brought her back to Chicago.
“For the past year, I have been establishing myself as a freelance writer, specializing in blog posts, email newsletters, magazine articles, etc.,” Julia said. “In addition to writing and Cluster Tutoring, I work part-time as a nanny. I also produce and host a podcast called 101 Ways of Being that’s about finding our own way to be, and how that ties in with our community.”
Julia’s next goal is to be accepted into a creative writing graduate program. “I love learning new things, reading, and writing poetry. My free time mostly consists of hula hooping, hiking, roller skating, reading, and listening to music.”
This is Julia’s first experience with Cluster, but she said she had been looking for opportunities to get more involved with local initiatives that foster community growth.
“I have found that you never know where life will take you. Staying a student even when you graduate high school or college, and being open to try different things, has many benefits that can help you grow as a person, which in turn helps us grow as a community,” she said. “I am so excited to connect with everyone and see where this year takes us!“