Q&A with Julie Eskenazi
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I am from Los Angeles, CA, I have lived in Indiana for 15 years since I married my husband, David Eskenazi. I have a Bachelor's degree from Colorado College, and a Master's in Elementary Education from University of Chicago.
I have taught 2nd grade and done various social services jobs as well. I was a VISTA Volunteer (domestic Peace Corp) in Chicago after graduating from college; I worked with homeless youth and with an illiteracy project.
Q: Are you involved elsewhere in the community?
A: I am a Past President of the Park Tudor Parents Association. I have organized various fundraising and special events for the school over the last 11 years.
I am currently serving as President Elect of Women for Riley, a fundraising and philanthropic women's group for Riley Hospital. We organize a Prom for the children in the Cancer Unit at Riley.
Q: How long have you been connected with Women’s Fund of Central Indiana and in what roles?
A: As a part of Women's Fund, I was in OPTIONS Class 7. I have served as a co-chair for WF Society for the last few years - fundraising, organizing special events and cultivating new members.
Q: What first drew you to Women’s Fund?
A: I was first drawn to Women's Fund as a guest at the 10th Anniversary dinner. I felt inspired by the mission of Women's Fund and felt I had found a group who had a mission that resonated with me. I also felt it combined my love for involvement in the community in a deep way and the ability to give back to women and girls through a positive and well-organized group.
Q: Who are/were your role models for "giving back" to the community and how did they influence you?
A: As the mother of three girls, I am inspired by them to show them all that is out in the world. They have such great opportunities to learn through my volunteer efforts, and through their GO Funds as well. I am also inspired by the philanthropy of my in-laws who have been very involved in the Indianapolis community for many years and have set a good example for me, my husband and our girls.
Q: What issues impacting women & girls are you most passionate about? Do you have any personal connection to any of these issues?
A: What I like most about Women's Fund is that it is women helping women! I love that the majority of projects it helps require active participation of the recipient to move forward and continue on a positive road - such as the Women's Prison or The Julian Center. In doing so, it is helping to break a cycle of poverty or abuse. Being the mother of three girls, I see the importance of developing a positive sense of identity is so crucial. It is for all children, but I believe it is especially for girls.
Q: What would you tell other women and girls about Women's Fund to encourage them to get involved?
A: I really appreciate that there are many ways to be involved with Women's Fund. As an OPTIONS alumna, I attend events to get a better education on what Women's Fund is doing and to stay in touch with other well-versed and interesting women. As a WF Society member, I have attended special talks and meetings with inspiring women who are doing great things all over the world. While I realize that charitable giving is vital to any organization, I appreciate hands-on opportunities, not just writing a check and showing up for a annual luncheon. This may work well for some, but it is not how I like to be involved. GO Funds have been amazing for my girls, teaching them important things about our community and the world and showing them how it is never to early to give back.
Q: What aspirations and hopes do you have for women and girls in central Indiana?
A: I would love to see the abilities for women and children in central Indiana grow. I hope that there are fewer women that feel hopeless and more that feel hopeful thanks to the knowledge and access to organizations that help them make a better life. Seeking change is a big step, and helping organizations that can provide change and positive outcomes is a great thing that Women's Fund does and will continue to do.
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