After a year of full-time volunteer service at VEJ, Julia Hall is moving on to her next adventure in life.
Hall, a member of Christ the King Service Corps, recently finished one year of placement at VEJ, spanning from June 2018 to the end of May 2019. She came to VEJ just weeks after graduating from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio.
"Julia is and was a gift straight from God," said VEJ executive director BT Irwin. "Along with [garden program leader] L'Oreal [Hawkes-Williams], Julia was the heart and soul of VEJ's presence in the Hope House neighborhood and VEJ's programs across the region."
As part of the Christ the King Service Corps, Hall lived in a common house with other service corps members at Christ the King Catholic Church, just a short walk from Hope House & Gardens. As a service corps member, Julia volunteered 40 hours (and sometimes more) each week at VEJ.
"Julia was our only full-time person on staff and our only staff person who lived in the Hope House neighborhood itself," said Irwin. "What showed to everyone is that her greatest joy was in relating to her neighbors here. She really loved them!"
In addition to helping VEJ connect to its neighbors in Detroit's Brightmoor and Old Redford neighborhoods, Hall helped create and run other programs as well, including Eco-Eating Tours and Wonder Walks. She was a big part of helping Hawkes-Williams design and lead VEJ's Organic Sustainable Gardening program.
This summer, Hall will move to Oregon, where she will attend graduate school at Oregon State University in Corvallis. She will study women, gender, and sexuality on full scholarship as a teaching assistant.
"This year has been one of fun, excitement, and learning," said Hall about her placement at VEJ. "My growth, professionally and personally, through working at Voices for Earth Justice has meant so very much to me."
A going-away party is in the works and details will be announced soon.