Julie Heale

Table at one of the PCCC parks
Julie Heale

Class of 2012

Julie Heale
Associate in Arts Degree
in Liberal Arts / Psychology

Graduating with Highest Honors

PCCC Seal

 

Phi Theta Kappa
Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges
All-USA Community College Academic Team


Honor Society Officer Left High School Due to Health Problems.


Julie Heale is an officer of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society. The recipient of PCCC’s Eileen Thompson Academic Achievement Scholarship, she was named to Who’s Who in American Students and nominated for the All-USA Academic Team. On Thursday, Julie will graduate with a 3.9 grade point average and receive her A.S. Degree in Liberal Arts/Psychology.


“I’m very excited,” said Julie. “I never graduated from my high school.” Julie attended a private secondary school, but was asked to leave in her senior year because of excessive absences “I was sick so often,” she explained. Julie earned her GED instead, and went on to enroll in another community  college.


“I didn’t like it there,” said the West Milford resident. “I felt like I was just a number.” She later transferred to PCCC. “What a difference this college made for me,” said Julie. “Here, I was treated like a real person and found myself motivated to do well and get involved in activities.”


Lively, warm, and personable, Julie describes an  underachieving academic past that she attributes to a host of physical complaints. “I felt sick for most of my life,” she said. “I didn’t know what it was to feel energetic or well.”


Since childhood, Julie suffered from an array of complaints: sinus infections, stomach upset, debilitating fatigue, and mental fog, all of which affected her performance, attendance, and attitude about school.


“Most of the time, I loved learning, but just didn’t have the energy to focus,” she said. “If I didn’t like a class, I wasn’t going to spend what little energy I had on doing the homework for it. I just wanted to sleep as much as I could.”


As a teen, Julie was treated briefly for some allergy problems, but for the most part, hers were the type of complaints that often go undiagnosed or are dismissed. “Most of the adults I knew thought I was just pretending I was sick to avoid school.”


Julie attributes her health complaints to both diet and severe environmental sensitivities. “I could get violently ill from riding on a bus and hated commuting to school,” she said.


Now that she cooks her own food, using mostly organic ingredients, and avoids anything processed, Julie reports an improvement so significant, she was able to earn nearly perfect grades at PCCC. “I had the goal to achieve a perfect 4.0,” she said, “but I’m proud of my 3.9”


Motivated to get involved, Julie served as an officer of PTK and organizer of fundraising activities. She became a student senator and a speaker, as well.
“PCCC helped me to have my say,” said Julie.


Though she plans to continue her education and has already been accepted to some four-year colleges, Julie has not yet made a final decision. Not surprisingly, she is considering a career in nutrition and is a fervent advocate for healthier eating. “People need to eat real food, not pre-packaged or instant,” she said.


This passion for the holistic is what inspires Julie’s feelings about PCCC. “At PCCC, I felt noticed,” she explained. “The professors really care about you and go out of their way to help you. “I recommend this college to everyone who wants to succeed and feel valued.”