In January of 1994 Julie Lapointe packed up and moved from Iowa to Minnesota with her sights set on graduate school. Needing a job she opened the paper and there she saw a tiny ad, for a temporary social worker. Julie recognized that STEP represented the true values of social work.

Twenty-five years later, Social Worker and Program Manager Julie continues her work at STEP and has see it transition and grow. She has worked in four different buildings, seen an increase from four staff members to eleven, and played an integral part in developing the programs that STEP offers today.

Julie shared that, “seeing how the power of relationships instills hope in people’s lives,” is what she enjoys most about STEP. In addition to the relationships with her clients, Julie also enjoys the relationships she has with the volunteers and her colleagues. “Staff stability is so important,” says Julie, “to ensure the longevity of an organization.”

When asked what Julie most wanted people to know about STEP, the first thing she said was, “STEP impacts lives in a meaningful way. Social work can be limited in many fields because of insurance reimbursement, agency and government policies, and an organization’s values and mission. STEP values the dignity and individual worth of people first and foremost, despite operating with fewer resources than many organizations.

When she is not at STEP, Julie enjoys kickboxing, gardening, and going on garage sale adventures. Thank you Julie for your 25 years of service to STEP and the St. Louis Park community!