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Julia Stella

Pi Beta Phi/Cleveland Kids' Book Bank


Julia is a Givebutter Changemaker - an elite group of young movers and shakers around the world that inspire those around them to give back through the incredible work that they do for others. Learn more about Changemakers.


My name is Julia, and I'm a junior at Case Western Reserve University pursuing a degree in Applied Mathematics. I am a member of the Ohio Lambda chapter of Pi Beta Phi, and this past calendar year I served as my chapter's Vice President of Philanthropy. In this position I organized events to support Read>Lead>Achieve and the Cleveland Kids' Book Bank, which are two organizations that support Pi Phi's national philanthropic cause: children's literacy. Outside of studying and my sorority, I like to tap dance, collect fall leaves, and travel!


What does giving mean to you?

Giving means identifying what a person or group is missing from achieving a goal and providing assistance to meet that need.

Who in your life most inspires you and why?

My mom is my greatest inspiration. She works as a public school teacher, which can often be a thankless job, but she is passionate about helping young children learn to read and giving them the tools they'll need to succeed in life. She is constantly reading new research and taking classes to improve her teaching methods despite all the remarkable abilities she already has. Even though she dedicates much time to her career, she never fails to be an attentive mother to my siblings and me, providing advice, hugs, and homemade meals. Her passion, determination, and growth mindset inspire me to try my best at everything that I do.

What is the best advice you've ever received?

The best advice I've ever received is that doing my best doesn't mean that I have to be the best. Knowing your limits and working to lead a balanced life are the ultimate keys to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

My greatest achievement so far has been helping my sisters feel passionate about our chapter's philanthropic cause, children's literacy, through service opportunities. I have always been passionate about school, and knowing that other children did not have the same educational opportunities was very troublesome to me. Hosting philanthropy events to raise money is crucial to supporting organizations that provide assistance to schoolchildren, but giving time to the organizations gives us a much greater connection to the cause. The best part of my position as VP of Philanthropy was when my sisters told me how much their service at the book bank impacted them.

That's awesome! Does your Pi Phi chapter work with any local nonprofits?

During my term as VP of Philanthropy, I was able to establish a connection with a local nonprofit called the Cleveland Kids' Book Bank, which distributes books to low income schools in the greater Cleveland area and builds Little Public Libraries (birdhouse-like structures where children can take a book or leave a book) in impoverished neighborhoods. The nonprofit was very young when we started volunteering at their warehouse sorting donated books by reading level, but throughout the year we got to watch how our volunteer hours and a local impact grant from our national organization helped the nonprofit grow.

Describe yourself in five words.

Proactive, reliable, determined, upbeat, thoughtful.

What does the Givebutter movement mean to you?

The Givebutter movement means finding a cause that you're passionate about and having a means of sharing your passion and making a difference. As young adults, we are only just beginning to realize the positive impact we can have in the world if we take the initiative to do something.