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Great Starts: Julia Greco ’20
Portrait of student Julia Greco

Great Starts: Julia Greco ’20

From time to time, we like to showcase a new SNC grad who’s entered the workplace or grad school. Success stories like these are pretty common. In fact, 95 percent of SNC's Class of 2022 alumni who responded to a survey said they were employed, in grad school or doing service work within nine months of graduating.

Hometown: Chicago
Graduation year: 2020
Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies
Plans after graduation: Advocate Supervisor for CASA of Brown County, Wis.

Tell me about your work with CASA.

CASA stands for Court-Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children. As an advocate supervisor, I make sure our advocates are visiting the children and doing daily checkups. The advocates, and CASA in general, are like the eyes and ears of the court, making sure the children have a voice during hearings. Kids in foster care or in kinship placements can get moved around a lot, and that can provide inconsistency in their lives. But CASA’s advocates move with them. We’re that one familiar face when they’re going to different homes.

What led you down that path?

When I started at St. Norbert, I was an education major. I always pictured myself as a kindergarten teacher, and I already planned how I wanted my classroom to look. I really loved working with kids. A cool thing about the education department is we get the chance to experience teaching early, during our sophomore year. During my sophomore teaching experience, I was told about the challenges or situations that some of the children in our classroom were facing, and it was like a switch went off: I just focused on making sure those students were OK.

By the end, I was more focused on students’ emotional needs than actually standing in front of a classroom and teaching. I was like, “What am I going to do? I don’t want to be a teacher — and I’m almost a junior and it’s too late to change my major.” Then I was out to dinner with my family and we saw Cabrini, my admission counselor. I was in tears, saying, “I don’t know what to do with my life!” Cabrini said I should look into CASA, so she emailed one of the directors and got me connected. After meeting with CASA, I knew right away that this is what I wanted to do.

How did St. Norbert help you achieve that goal?

I went to the education department and told them I didn’t want to teach, so they helped me become an educational studies major. In a way, I kind of felt like an education reject because I wasn’t taking the typical path. But I sat down with Dr. Schaeffer, and she did not see it that way at all. She got me connected with an elementary school and worked with the dean of students there to create a new internship.

I always thought what I chose to do in my senior year of high school had to be what I ended up becoming my senior year of college, but St. Norbert opened my eyes to other possibilities out there. Then the education department worked with me to still graduate on time and get a degree that supported my new goal.

It sounds like you’ve had some impactful relationships while at St. Norbert …

Number one would for sure be Cabrini. She was just like another family member. To me that’s what’s important about St. Norbert: I’ve never really heard of other colleges where admission counselors stick with you all four years. Cabrini would email me, check up on me and see what I needed. It was really awesome just to know that if I ever needed anything, I could go to her.

Dr. Schaeffer really helped me and actually listened to what I wanted to do, and I really appreciate her for that. The other would be Dr. Delano: She’s the one who made me feel comfortable taking another path. Her philosophy and ideology of caring for the whole child opened my eyes to the ways to help kids without being a teacher. She really inspired me to go out there and see what else the world can offer me, and what I can offer the world.