Julie Sanchez, BASW

Class of: 
2010

Julie Sanchez is an enrolled tribal member of the Pueblo de San Ildefonso in Northern New Mexico. She was born and raised in southern California. For the past 7 years, she has been involved with homeless and tribal youth advocacy.

Julie was originally a Marine Biology major and happened to be in the Social Work Freshman Interest Group (FIG) for social justice.  Through the persistence of Maria Bartlett, now Social Work Faculty Emeritus, and a few other professors, she changed her major in 2007 to Social Work.   Fortunately, the volunteer work she was already doing in the community could be counted towards the BASW program requirements.  Future internship for her as a BASW student included Two Feathers - Native American Family Services and UIHS - Children and Family Services.

Julie graduated from HSU in 2010 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and minor in Native American Studies. In the final year of the BASW program she was awarded the CalSWEC Title IV-E stipend.  This program engaged her with a population she never once considered working with; high-challenged youth and families (those involved in or at risk for entry into the child welfare system) at RCAA Youth Service Bureau as well as on the pueblo.

“After graduation I had the privilege of working with the Youth Service Bureau as a Youth Caseworker where I received guidance, supervision, and support to take on a position in New Mexico - a large role working directly for my tribe as the Indian Child Welfare (ICW)/Title IV-B Program Manager.  During the time I worked for my tribe I built the ICW program from the ground up by assisting in re-writing the tribe’s law and order codes, coordinating delivery services with federal agents, creating a culturally specific substance abuse program, and advocating for the pueblo’s youth-in-care across the southwest.”

“Through this experience I gained a love of administration and leadership.  This influenced my decision to attend the University of Washington – Seattle (UW) School of Social Work for my MSW with their concentration on administration and policy. The opportunity to work with my tribe also allowed me to reconnect with my pueblo’s traditional customs and language.”

Julie is currently in the final quarter of the Advanced Standing MSW program at UW – Seattle.  She is an intern at the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) under the Youth Employment Program. She has been an essential part of initiating the Mayor’s Youth At Work Initiative, which launched this spring and is going to serve over 2,000 of Seattle’s low-income/high-barrier youth.  Currently, she is also piloting a youth evaluation survey for the program, sitting on numerous task force teams, all while working and going to school full-time.

In the next few months she will be working with Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI) as a Graduate Research Assistant to further guide her love of empirical data and working with American Indian communities.

After graduation she plans to apply for a PhD program and eventually go back to her pueblo to further build her tribal community’s Indian Child Welfare program.

“I will always thank the HSU Social Work program as well as the CALSWEC stipend program for giving me the direction to become an advocate, a listener, and a tactful fighter for tribal youth in the child welfare system.  HSU’s Social Work program instilled in me a strong understanding of social justice, theoretical perspectives and methodological thinking that has allowed me to flourish as a social worker.”