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Julia Patterson

Julia Patterson

Human Development and Family Science

Patterson's heart for children and families drew her to HDFS major

Hometown

Alpharetta, Ga.

Major

Human Development and Family Science. Minor: Dance

Activities and Honors

Zell Miller Scholarship; Presidential Scholar; Dean’s List; Graduating Summa Cum Laude; Intern at the UGA Wesley Foundation; Discipleship Mentor at the UGA Wesley Foundation; CrossTrainers Mentor at the UGA Wesley Foundation; Leader and Participant on short-term mission trips to Jamaica and Ecuador; Preschool Teacher at North Point Community Church Weekday Preschool; Pre-Professional Ballet Instructor and Competition Coach at North Atlanta Dance Academy

Why I chose my major

Since the age of 12 or 13, I had my sights set on a professional ballet career. However, in the final months before graduating high school and moving away to start dancing, a deep desire within me to pursue a path where I could put my energy and heart toward caring for people was unearthed. I didn’t know much about myself beyond my love for ballet at the time, but my family and incredible mentors helped me identify my empathetic nature and the tender heart toward children and families within me. When I applied to UGA, I was immediately drawn to Human Development and Family Science and have never looked back. HDFS has given me a holistic approach to seeing the world around me and has fostered empathy and awareness, compassion for many different populations, and a desire to positively impact each person I interact with.

What I like most about FACS

My favorite thing about the FACS family is our shared passion for strengthening and empowering our communities, stemming from a pure love and care for the people around us. This passion grounds our studies and our work and reminds us why we do what we do. There is incredible diversity in the job fields that we will enter into after graduating, so learning alongside other FACS students has taught me so much about the incredible value of the uniqueness of each individual that comes through Dawson Hall. FACS has also brought me friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Post-graduation plans

After graduation, I will continue to work on staff at the University of Georgia Wesley Foundation, a campus ministry located less than a three-minute walk down Lumpkin from Dawson Hall. As an intern at Wesley, I am using my academic background in HDFS and my faith to serve and mentor other college students. My eventual next steps likely will include pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching, and I hope to one day have a classroom of elementary-aged students of my own!

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