Helping Michigan's Most Vulnerable

Friday Feature: Julie Shaltry

Intern to director
Julie's story

Your name: Julie Shaltry

Your role at Volunteers of America Michigan: Social Services Clinical Director

What brought you to this position? I started at Volunteers of America Michigan in 2011 with an internship placement for my Masters of Counseling program. At that time, I was assigned to the veteran independence program as a case manager.

What is your biggest takeaway from working with Volunteers of America Michigan? There’s always more to learn. The most valuable teachers have been those served. I have daily opportunities to connect with clients, staff, and community partners. Each person who shares a story, struggle or celebration shapes my service delivery. Their success is the yardstick by which I know my own.

What is your biggest challenge in this position? Time. Ensuring each program gets enough attention, to not only run efficiently, but to innovate and stay ahead of the trends in the community.

Where is your dream vacation spot? An isolated cabin in the woods, complete with a fireplace and lake access.

What is your favorite book? A Prayer for Owen Meany. I read this story at a time in my life where I was experiencing significant grief and wondering what the purpose was. Owen’s unwavering faith, despite his own personal pain and seemingly defective physicality, caused a ripple effect of change in those around him. This book is about the power of one person—how each of us interacting with our world causes change, and how we have a choice in what that looks like.

How do you spend your time outside of the office? My family! I spend all my free time with my five kids and my husband.