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Julie Linder profile picture

Find Something You Love To Do and Make It Happen

Julie Linder wants to speak for those who need the most help.  That’s why she chose to pursue a degree in human services at North Central State College.

Linder is a home health care nurse, and she obtained her LPN certification in 1995 from NC State College, which was then known as North Central Technical College.  She is still an active LPN and works as a home healthcare case manager.  However, her heart was telling her to try something new.  That led her back to NC State to pursue a degree in human services.  “In my opinion, I had been in nursing long enough.  I want to be able to advocate for people.  I want to be able to find programs that will help them better their lives.”

She began taking classes at the college and managing her home life at the same time.  “I have a six-year-old and an eight-year-old.  I think with me going back to school, my children understand it more now than at first.  There have been times, especially for my youngest child, where she was frustrated because I had to study for an exam.” 

Linder thought of a creative way to spend time with her children, as well as finish her studies. “I sat my daughter down and let her pretend like she was studying with me, too.”  She praises the support of her family in helping her to accomplish her goal.  “My husband helps a lot, also, when I have the study.  Having his support makes going back to school a lot easier.”

Having already been a nurse, she says it helped prepare her for human services.  “I think if I would have gone for my human services degree right after high school, like I did nursing years ago, I don’t think I would have been as prepared.”  She goes on to say, “Now, I have that strong background and the voice to speak up and to advocate for people.”

Linder admits she was nervous about going back to school once again, but she says the faculty helped put her at ease.  “All of the teachers are very helpful.  The classes are small.  You get a lot of one-on-one with the teachers, and you can build great relationships with them all.  They are out there to help you in any way they can.”

She has taken full advantage of her time at North Central State College by participating in the internship program, as well as the honors college.  Currently, she is working as an intern with the Salvation Army in Ashland.  She has also worked on an Honors College project that was inspired by her work at the Salvation Army pantry. 

Linder realized that peanut butter is a hard commodity to come by at the pantry. This led her to the idea to start a drive to collect peanut butter and jelly.  At that time, she held a drive at NC State College, along with several businesses around the community.   She says, “It’s a really humbling experience.  Peanut butter and jelly is something kids can make [as] an easy sandwich. We also provide for the homeless on a daily basis at the pantry, and it’s something easy for them to eat.”  She collected more than 300 jars of peanut butter and jelly, which adds up to around 400 lbs., for the Salvation Army.  “I started the drive not to help me with my honors project, but to help all of those people in need.”

She plans to continue her education and obtain her bachelor’s degree in social work.  Linder says she would like to work one-on-one with geriatric clients or the mentally and physically disabled.

 

 

 

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