Environmental advocate gets second chance
At age 49, Julie Bradbury faces fear of failure head-on as she plans for future in geology.
With a passion for protecting the environment, Julie Bradbury is pursuing her education in a field she loves – geoscience.
The soon-to-be 50-year-old Washington resident graduated Highline College in June 2018 but will remain on campus to finish her prerequisites in calculus before heading off to the University of Washington in 2019. Once there, she hopes to complete her bachelor’s degree in geology.
“If we all could aspire to do just one thing every day …” Bradbury said, “what an amazing place this planet would be, if, together, we actively chose to improve this world both for ourselves and every living species.”
Bradbury said a few ways to do this include committing an act of kindness, caring about living things, not littering, taking a second to pick up a piece of trash lying nearby or making a conscious effort to avoid ‘one-time use’ plastic items like straws or plastic bags.
Completing her bachelor’s degree in geology, she said, supports her passion and is crucial to achieving her long-term goal of leaving this world better than she found it.
But getting to where Bradbury can fulfill her educational goals hasn’t been without some help.
During her time at Highline College, Bradbury received the Honors Leadership Team scholarship, the Graduating with Honors Scholarship and the Student Leader of the Month scholarship from the Center for Leadership and Service.
She said she has personally benefited from Highline’s Access Services, TRiO; which assists first-generation students; and the Veterans program, a service she uses as the spouse of a disabled veteran.
Bradbury said as she’s worked to achieve her long-term goal of finishing her college education, Highline College has given her the confidence to embrace new challenges and seize new opportunities.
In the 2016–17 academic year, she became president of the Non-Traditional Students Club in addition to joining TRiO, MESA (Math, Engineering, Science, Achievement), and the Honors Leadership Team. The next year, she continued with those clubs but added chair of a student government subcommittee — Capital Projects— to the list.
The Capital Projects subcommittee’s objective, Bradbury said, is to facilitate improvements to several areas around the Highline campus, including the new multicultural hangout space on the third floor of Building 25; the AANIPISI, Umoja, Puente and LGBTQIA spaces; the Highline Community Garden project; and the soon-to-be Building 6 Student Services entryway plaza.
While Bradbury first chose to attend Highline for the affordable cost, proximity to her home and its beautiful campus, she said she’s continued to come back because the college is so much more.
“By choosing Highline, I have received more than just an education,” Bradbury said. “I’ve grown as a person by meeting some truly amazing people, by getting involved and by stepping out of my comfort zone and embracing the numerous opportunities Highline has to offer.”
Her one wish?
“I wish I had come back to school sooner. Fear of failure paralyzed me and prevented me from pursuing my goals and dreams,” she said. “Forcing myself to step outside of my comfort zone has opened up so many amazing opportunities for which I am truly grateful. You really have to want success or you will never genuinely pursue it and never give yourself the chance to actually achieve it.”