Meet Map: Julia, Alumni

Here is a transcript of our conversation with Julia, a Map alumni.

Julia: My name is Julia Robbins and I graduated Map Academy in June of 2019. Right after graduation, I was doing classes in Quincy College for social work and substance abuse counseling but that wasn’t for me. I did it for about two months and then I got a job at The Arc of Greater Plymouth and Upper Cape Cod and we work with adults with intellectual developmental disabilities so that’s what I’m doing now.

We have so many different departments in that facility but I work at their day program. We host sessions with them, we do arts and crafts, we bring them to their appointments, we take them food shopping, we take them out into the community, give them the most realistic life possible for them and then we help them do stuff that they can’t do on their own. I leave my job feeling like a success, like I did something to help somebody.

I definitely wouldn’t see myself doing the job I’m in now before I went to Map. Map definitely gave me the courage and the self-confidence and the self-worth to know that I can do something like that and I can not only help my own life, but I can help others. My connection with Map Academy since I’ve left has definitely slowed down a little bit but they’re always reaching out to me. They’re always making sure that I’m okay, and they always invite me back for events, and things like this, and I think it’s great. I still communicate with the staff. I still communicate with friends I’ve made here. I’m still a part of it. It feels good.

Now that I’m in the program that I’m in now and I’m working with the people that I’m working with now, I don’t see myself necessarily doing that forever but I’m definitely going back to school for psychology. For new staff, I would just have to say be patient, be open, be understanding, and definitely just give it time. You never know what you’re walking into but it’s definitely something to give a chance, give it time, and just be yourself. Everybody has to just be themselves and smooth sailing from there.

Along with what I just said, patience is a huge thing, being open. Being not only open as who you are but being open into recognizing how other people cope with things, how other people deal with their emotions. It’s not one size fits all here at Map. Everybody is their own person and the ideal staff member would understand that and know multiple different ways how to communicate with somebody.

Advice that I would give to incoming students: Definitely let go of all past problems and trust issues that you have and actually give Map a chance because if you do give Map a chance, it’s going to be one of the best chances you’ve ever taken. I can guarantee that.

One thing I wish I’d known coming into Map was where I’d be right now. I definitely would have taken it a lot more seriously and I definitely would have pushed myself a lot more, but everything happens for a reason. I can only thank Map for where I am today.

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