2022 Woman of Distinction – Julie Hermanson

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Julie Hermanson (Program Coordinator, Community Action Inc.’s AWARE Program in Evansville)

Knowing that a child’s hunger did not magically disappear with one meal and toys at Christmas, Julie reached out to community leaders and together they created the grassroots program, AWARE in Evansville. As the only staff member, Julie organized volunteers and secured resources to provide support to families throughout the year. The community responded with generosity and programs were developed to fight poverty and help children reach their full potential.

AWARE began providing assistance to low-income families in 1998 and later became a program of Community Action, Inc. In addition to holiday programs, AWARE provides Snackpackers (a weekly distribution of nutritious foods to students), emergency assistance to prevent homelessness, Koats for Kids, school supplies, free swim passes and lessons, mentoring programs, drivers’ education scholarships and more. She created Refuse 2 Bruise and partnered with the YWCA to create campaigns to fight teen dating violence. She established the Evansville Youth Center, helped to relocate, and expand the Evansville Ecumenical Care Closet, organized Salvation Army kettle campaigns, introduced Safe Families and worked to bring awareness of human trafficking.

AWARE thrives today because of the kindness and generosity of its donors and volunteers. It is a program for the community and the community is proud to take care of its own.

Julie has served on numerous boards and committees for the school and city, as well as the United Way of North Rock County. She currently serves on the advisory council for the new Parents Supporting Parents program and the planning committee for Courageous Conversations.

Over the years, Julie has served on the parish council for St. Paul Catholic Church, was a Religious Education Coordinator, teacher, and retreat planner. She is active in St. Paul CCW and plans parish events.

Julie is blessed with three children, Chad (Alexandria), Kari and Jackson (Julia). She has one grandson, Tyler, and he is the joy of her life.