If you have seen an active student running around campus trying to get her work done, grab a bite of food or make it to meetings, chances are that you have seen Julia Warren. Warren is a freshman and already the founder and executive director of a foundation called celebrate! RVA. This foundation creates and runs birthday parties for children that cannot afford to have one of their own, as their slogan is, “Everybody deserves a party.”
Warren, who is from Richmond, VA and is currently a business/economics major with a psychology minor, is also a sister of Kappa Alpha Theta.
“Julia is a huge asset to our chapter, the Greek community and the R-MC community as a whole,” Kappa Alpha Theta President Blycie Bailey said. “Her work ethic, determination and thoughtfulness is so inspirational.”
Along with her positions at celebrate! RVA, she is also the director of development at Posh PR in Richmond, which is a wedding and event design company. In her minimal downtime, she completes her homework, goes to workout classes, plays with her dog and tries to get an ample amount of sleep. During the interview, Warren exhibited a genuine smile and positive attitude for such a hardworking individual who did not get much sleep the night before.
“Julia is the most genuine, kind-hearted person I have ever met,” Warren’s friend Samantha Sallade said. “No matter how busy or stressed she is, she always makes time for her friends and is always there for anyone who needs her to be.” Warren and Sallade became friends at the beginning of their freshman year and plan to remain loyal, best friends for a lifetime.
celebrate! RVA was founded by Warren two and a half years ago and establishes most of the effort for the foundation. She has a board of directors to help with her efforts and has many volunteers to help her run the parties.
“It would not be possible without them,” Warren said. She started this foundation after her realization that she was privileged enough to have exquisite and loving birthday parties throughout her life from her family and friends, yet there are children in her community that cannot afford to have the sort of celebrations she has had.
Warren said, “It broke my heart,” and she wants the children to know they are cherished and loved by the Richmond community. Warren also said, “We want to celebrate them on their special day.”
Warren visited Title I schools in Richmond as the locations for her events that could fit the program she designed for celebrate! RVA, as these schools have a 45 percent poverty rate or more. She and her team found a school, have been celebrating with children at that location for two years and have plans to be in two or more schools by Sept. 2015.
When Warren graduates in three years, this foundation is slated to be her full-time job, and she said she aspires for her foundation to grow to more cities to expand who they serve and how they serve.
“I’m so thankful for the support that I’ve been given,” Warren said, “and I couldn’t do this without my family, my friends and my faith.”
If you are interested in volunteering or donating to this foundation, please visit celebraterva.org.
-Yasmine Raychouni ’16, Junior News Editor