Passion. Energy. Integrity. Faith. Family. Community. These were just a few words used that made people think of Julie, our new program director.
Indiana bred and a graduate of Indiana University Blooomington, Julie has worked in the not-for-profit field for 10+ years. Some of the great organizations she has had the pleasure to work at are Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Concord Development Center, West Indianapolis Development Center and Northview Church. All with the common experience of project managing, volunteer recruitment, partner/organizational development and youth leadership development.
In between these great opportunities, Julie was blessed to be able to stay home with her boys for 11 years. She is excited to be a part of a growing organization that is investing in its city’s youth and developing leaders for the future. Julie and her husband, Tom Plake, have been married for 19 years, and they have two boys, Nathan (14 years) and Noah (12 years). She has lived on the north side of Indianapolis her whole life and she states that it has been a great pleasure to watch Indianapolis grow and flourish over the past years.
Julie asserts, “I believe service is within us all. No matter how we are called, each of us is created with the natural sense of giving to someone or something else. Each of us has talents that we hopefully figure out in our lifetime. What are we good at doing, what do we like to do, and what tugs at our heart when we witness the world around us? Service to me is recognizing a need and freely giving of your time, talent or resources. Making yourself available to help, care or come alongside something greater than yourself.”
Possessing a green thumb, one of Julie’s passions is gardening. She loves to be out in the dirt planting, transplanting, pulling up weeds and watching things grow. She has a special gift to see growth even among the weeds! When she watches birds nesting in birdhouses at home, butterflies and hummingbirds in her garden, she gets excited about the balance and starts to think of her next outdoor project. She recently planted raspberries and blackberries in her home garden and she is hopeful for some yummy fruit to make pies, jam and or crisp!
Because of her great love of gardening, she enjoys participating in and planning service projects that focus on the environment. Julie is hopeful that some of her love of being in the dirt will rub off on some of ProAct’s after-school youth clubs. “Gardening teaches us many things like patience, endurance, not giving up and appreciating even the tiniest things outdoors,” Julie says, “They are life lessons and I am hopeful that not only our youth, but parents, partners, and community leaders will join in the love of growing with us at ProAct.”
“I hope that after people meet me, they will see that I really care about what they are interested in and what they are doing,” states Julie.
“I love to dream big dreams with people and like to come alongside people to encourage them and make them come true. “Grow BIG dreams” is on my desk in our ProAct office and that is exactly what I want to do. How can I get someone to see their dream and help to make it grow into making it a reality? Investing in others, believing what is true and making our corner of the world a better place to live.”
If you would like to meet Julie to learn about her and the valuable work she is doing as our program director, feel free to email her at email@example.com.