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Julia Helzer

Julia Helzer

Although she considers herself a “California beach bum” at heart, something keeps bringing Julia Helzer back to BYU, and her dedication is paying off in the form of a scholarship from the Fritz B. Burns Foundation. Julia received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from BYU in 2006, after which she returned to her native San Diego and worked as a teaching assistant at a private special education school. Two years later Julia decided to continue her education and began exploring different options for graduate school.

Having heard about the McKay School’s “excellent school psychology program” at a graduate seminar, Julia began to consider returning to Provo. “When I came to interview here, the professors were so congenial and inviting that I knew BYU was where I was meant to be, again,” she explained. Julia is currently pursuing an education specialist’s degree (EdS) in school psychology, with plans to graduate in 2011.

The Fritz B. Burns Foundation is involved in various financial projects across the BYU campus, according to an article on the LDS Philanthropies Web site. In 2009 the Foundation donated more than $1.8 million to BYU, with more than half going to student scholarships. For students like Julia, these scholarships can make a career-changing difference. “Before receiving the scholarship, I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to manage to pay for school next year,” she explained. “This scholarship has perfectly answered my needs, and I feel extremely blessed to receive it.”

Aside from becoming an “awesome school psychologist,” Julia’s greatest desire is to become a wife and mother. “I’m pretty excited about this phase of going through school and securing a career, but starting a family will be the culmination of a lot of dreams for me,” she expressed. Julia is the youngest of four children and the only one currently living outside of California. “My brothers and sister all have the good sense to maintain their residency in San Diego, and I am the child who strays away,” she joked.

Julia shares her love for working in education with her mother, who is a special education teacher. In June, they attended the McKay School’s English Language Learners Symposium together. With her father, Julia shares a passion for sports—particularly Padres baseball. “My parents both attended BYU and are proud of me for completing and continuing my education here,” she said. In her free time, Julia enjoys reading, playing the piano, hiking, swimming, cycling, and taking pictures. “If I were home in San Diego, I’d spend a great amount of time with my nieces and nephews, showing them my favorite beaches and going to Legoland with them,” she remarked.

10 August 2009