Hear Me Roar
Paisley’s theme for this month is #followyourheart. Have you always followed your heart?
Ever since I was a little girl, I followed my heart and did not let anything stand in my way. My dream was to play college basketball, and when my high school coach told me I would never be good enough, I did whatever it took to receive a college basketball scholarship to play ball. I became a teacher, coach and school counselor to help students follow their hearts and their dreams!
You have such positive energy, how do you best put it to use?
Thank you for that compliment. I consider myself an optimist and try to be positive as much as possible. Some would say that I am a little too perky in the morning, but starting the morning off energized helps me go the extra mile for my family and for our community. I believe positive energy is contagious, and it pushes me to work harder and not give up in the face of adversity.
What values in life have you learned that still resonate with you today?
I used to worry a lot about what people thought about me. Over time, I realized that being true to myself, being authentic is more important than trying to fit in. Integrity is also a value that is really important to me. Striving to do the right thing, even when no one is watching is something I work towards every day.
Although I like to think I am always right, I have learned that becoming defensive or angry when people have a differing view is not productive. I’ve learned to listen to new ideas and perspectives and understand the value of having an open mind.
What life changes did you just make? Tell us about your past career and new one…
I can’t believe I just retired last June after 30 years in education! Since age 23, I have been a teacher and coach, a school counselor and most recently an administrator/registrar at Glynn Academy. I am truly thankful for the students, parents and staff for whom I had the opportunity to serve. Every year has been unique, and I will miss the joys and challenges.
So, even though I retired from education, I will not stop serving the people of this community. Helping and advocating for others and making a difference is my passion. This is why I stepped up to run for office in 2018, and why I will run for Georgia House District 179 again in 2020!
Why is it so important for each of us to vote?
Whether we realize it or not, all levels of government affect our daily lives in many ways, such as keeping our drinking water safe, to limiting our loss to $50 if someone steals our ATM card. Voting provides public education and ensures workers have at least a minimum wage.
“Democracy is not a spectator sport!” —Marian Wright Edelman. If we do not make our voices heard, elected officials will pass legislation favoring those who put them in office. And, if only a small percentage of people vote, this may not be in the best interest of the community as a whole. I want to unite and encourage people to vote and have a voice in our government to proactively change the political landscape into one of action. Together, we can make a difference one vote at a time!
As a politician, what are some of the best ways to engage others?
The most important thing I can do as a future representative is to listen to people about issues that matter to them every day. I am committed to being accessible to the people of this community. I’ve already started knocking on doors across the district to speak with people one on one. Expect to see me in your neighborhood sometime in 2020!
Julie, describe kindness for us…
Kindness is doing something generous for someone else and not expecting anything in return. We need this now more than ever!
If you could have a superpower for one day, what would it be?
I would choose environmental purification as my superpower, and I would use it to heal and undo all of the damage to the Earth caused by pollution. I also would want a really cool costume...
What are you a sucker for?
I am a sucker for the underdog. Advocating and pulling for causes, teams and people who are underestimated is a passion. I like cheering for underdogs, and I like being one.
What do you want young people, especially girls, to know right now?
• Believe in yourself, you can do this!
• No matter what, you will not please everyone, and that is okay.
• Question everything with an open mind.
• Positive energy is contagious!
With your new opportunities and challenges, what are you ROARING about?
As a Leo, I am all about the roar… I am also about standing up for what I believe in and encouraging other women to do the same. There are many amazing women in our community. It is time to step up and speak out! It is said that women need to be asked at least seven times before they run for office, consider this number one. I will see you on the campaign trail!