Julia Michelle Reggio, a senior at St. Martin’s Episcopal School, says, “I think it’s important to be active in your community because it promotes a more open and inviting environment for others to reach out and use your actions as a template for theirs.”
Reggio has been a part of many organizations throughout her years at St. Martin’s. She served on student council for four years and is the student body president for her senior year. Through this past year she has been able to hold fundraisers to aid the victims of Louisiana flooding, run a leadership summit to endorse a student led high school and spread school spirit around the campus.
Her most rewarding volunteer experience is working with Hope Lodge, an organization that helps financially struggling cancer patients.
“I am so happy to be part of a completely free of charge ‘home away from home’ for people in need of a place to stay and gentle, loving care while undergoing cancer treatment in New Orleans,” she says.
Another event that Reggio patriciates in is Gleason Gras. She recruits students from varying high school grades to volunteer. Getting other teenagers involved in such an important event allows Reggio spread her activism.
“Through volunteering I get to meet people diagnosed with the disease and talk to them about their struggles. Meeting ALS patients allows me to put a face to the cause, and helps me understand what an impact that I’m having on my community,” she says.
Greg Reggio, Reggio’s father, has been inspiring her to become an activist for as long as she can remember. Beginning when she was five, her father brought her to various charity events and she helped him serve.
“Although I may have not understood how serving people free food made a difference back then, I now know that the smallest donation or act of kindness for people in need makes a world of difference in their eyes,” she says.
Reggio plans to attend UT Austin to study pre-veterinary courses, while also studying nonprofits and entrepreneurship. After college, she hopes that she can take a year off and join the Peace Corps or find a way to serve her community at home. After she’s settled in her career, she hopes to get enough funding to create a nonprofit organization geared towards the benefit of animals and their welfare.