Julia Sleeper-Whiting

Julia Sleeper-Whiting
Location: Lewiston, Maine Cohort Start Year: 2019 Project Topics: Education, Faith/Religion, Immigrants and Refugees, Leadership Development, Racial Justice, Social Sector/Non-Profit, Violence and Trauma Populations Served: Adolescents (12-20 years), African-American/Black, At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Children (6-11 years), Children and Families, Homeless Populations, Immigrants and Refugees, Incarcerated or Formerly Incarcerated Populations, Low-Income Communities
Executive Director
Tree Street Youth

Julia’s focus area is on youth development and education and the ways in which youth voice can lead change in communities. As the founder and director of Tree Street Youth in Lewiston, Maine, she has experienced firsthand the power that youth can play in developing programming, changing education systems, and challenging systems to create more equitable systems and think creatively about solving problems in our world. With her home state facing an aging demographic and a workforce crisis, the city of Lewiston has gone against these trends due to a large influx of immigrant and refugee families into the area. Inspired by the passion and motivation of youth in the community, Julia’s goal is to continue to build pathways for youth voice to have greater influence across the state of Maine and to improve the ways in which schools empower and arm youth with the skills necessary to solve today’s societal challenges while following their personal passions and pathways of purpose.

As the founder and director of Tree Street Youth, Julia has had a unique leadership experience growing an organization from a small grassroots, all-volunteer staff to a full service youth center having statewide influence. The growth of the center, which has been largely drawn from youth voices and inspired by community needs, is inspired to encourage others to follow this lead while learning from passionate and motivated peers from across the country.

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