Julie Gutierrez is a youth advocacy program founder, NYU and Hunter College alumna, former Capitol Hill staffer and Associate Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at Oakwood Friends School. Her combined interests in teen empowerment, political advocacy and arts activism led her to create the Summer Youth Advocacy Program, a free, two week residential program for racially diverse, economically disadvantaged teens from the Hudson Valley and NYC. Now in its 15th year, the program empowers young people by teaching them the tools of advocacy through the arts and fostering an early interest in and commitment to civic participation. Julie does this work because she is passionate about connecting young people to opportunities to create positive change in their communities. When she has (rare!) free time from her two rambunctious, lovable boys, Julie enjoys gardening, cooking with friends and enjoying all that the Hudson Valley has to offer.