In her youth, Julia shifted her passion for letter writing (snail mail) to writing dialogue for the theater where she received awards and production. While her family was young, she worked in the arts and as a copywriter until the infamous Mayor Buddy Cianci felt compelled to appoint her to the Providence school board. She was so appalled by the corrupt world of adults collecting tax money to hand out to one another, she became a children’s advocate. (She still think RI treats kids as an afterthought.) When dramatically thrown off the school board dramatically), the Providence Journal recruited her to write a weekly education column, EdWatch, which continued for 16 years. While researching how schools could support kids’ mental health, she discovered Restorative Justice Practices (RJP) and in 2008 shifted her focus to building a new business, the Youth Restoration Project (YRP), which offered training and implementation consulting primarily to schools, but also non-profits. In the fall of 2014, the National Institute of Justice awarded YRP’s “treatment” strategy to the Central Falls school district, YRP and two research organizations.
Off and on for almost 3 decades, she’s written for many outlets and agencies as well as serving as communications director for the National Center on Public Education and a consultant for the DataSpark team at the Providence Plan. She just retired as a long-time member and then Vice President of the RI Mental Health Association.