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Julia Robinson

Julia Robinson


Sometimes, simple ideas have the greatest impact. When Julia Robinson was 13, a class project challenged her to think differently about the world around her. The assignment was to bring a new idea to life, and Julia decided to focus on how she could help women experiencing homelessness in her community know that “they are loved, and they are beautiful.”

At the time, Julia lived near Wheeler Mission in Indianapolis. As she thought about the kind of impact she’d like to have, she drew inspiration from one of her passions: fashion. She came up with the idea for a fashion show that would not only help the women served feel beautiful but also raise awareness about the mission in the community. Her teacher encouraged her to take the next step and pitch the idea; Wheeler Mission was instantly on board.

Julia describes herself as sometimes “having trouble talking to people.” Yet over the four-month planning period she encouraged classmates, members of her church and the broader community to donate clothing and beauty items for the fashion show. She also secured in-kind donations from local hair and makeup artists to help the women get ready on the big day. While Julia may have been shy, her enthusiasm more than made up for it. “When you’re passionate about something, don’t let anyone derail it. Young people are way more capable than they get credit for,” Julia said.

The first “the love yourself fashion show” was held at the Wheeler Mission Center for Women and Children in 2016. About 15 women from the center participated in the event. One word best described it: joyful. This sense of joy is something that comes naturally to Julia. She has also helped keep the love yourself fashion show going, with three additional events taking place before being paused due to COVID-19.

Today, 19-year-old Julia has her eyes on the future. Studying philanthropy at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, Julia hopes to continue work that will benefit her community and spread joy.

She also dreams of being her own boss, something she has a jump-start on as an Amway IBO. Julia was introduced to the Amway opportunity through her aunt and uncle and didn’t hesitate to seize it. “That was the spark that let me know this was for me. You have to be self-motivated and self-reliant to be successful with this.”

This growth mentality is key for Julia, who sees all the experiences she’s had and will have as opportunities to become better. As she says, “We’re here to learn.” Julia also believes that while the full scope of issues like homelessness might feel overwhelming, taking the time to get to know the individuals impacted one on one (hearing their stories and learning what they actually need) makes things feel more manageable. 

While attending college on a full-ride scholarship, Julia stays busy with her Amway business, her internship at Carey Services – a nonprofit serving individuals with disabilities in Indianapolis – and her participation in student clubs. She sees the energy and passion of her classmates and believes that their determination, along with her own, is what will change the world.