Julie Pham

University: Brown University
Major: Political Science & Urban Studies
Languages: Vietnamese
Download Julie's Resume


Biography: I’m a Gates Millenium Scholar, a Questbridge Finalist, and a proud low-income first generation college student majoring in Political Science and Urban Studies at Brown University.

I was raised in the inner city of Rochester, New York by Vietnamese parents who have supported me and my dreams while working so hard to help provide for the family with little means. With Rochester’s deep divide between the inner city and the suburbs, I personally experienced the effect of resource disparities due to vast socio-economics levels between the two areas. With an inquisitive personality and a desire to learn, I spent my teenage years searching for opportunities to improve the experiences of city school students such as working for the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education as a Teacher's Assistant at the Horizons Program at Warner. For two consecutive summers, I built close relationships with students, acted as a mentor, and provided literacy instruction. I also tutored in various city schools throughout the school year. Currently, I am an Urban Fellow at the University of Rochester for the Summer of 2016 and in my free time will mentor many low-income, first-generation students through their college application process.

I am passionate about helping others gain equal access to education, finding solutions to radical inequality in urban schools, the intersection of urban cities and politics, and fighting poverty in Southeast Asia. At Brown, I am a Minority Peer Counselor for the Brown Center for Students of Color and a member of the Media team for the Brown Political Review. In addition, I am a Minority Recruitment Intern at the Office of Admissions where I work with community-based organizations to provide a support system for low-income high school students from around the country navigating the college application process. One day, I hope to implement policies to improve urban schools as U.S Secretary of Education.