Julia VanDyk, 17, is a homeschooled high school senior from Iowa and the winner of the Her Campus Zinch scholarship! She shared her story of overcoming her shyness to become a leader and direct her own musical theater show. Julia is putting together a musical cabaret featuring local children to raise money for charity. Although she isn’t quire sure which charity she will be supporting just yet, she said it will probably be World Renew.
“It’s far more rewarding to lead something worthwhile!” she shared in her Zinch scholarship entry. We agree with her and got the chance to ask her a few questions over the phone!
HC: What inspired you to become a leader?
Julia: I’ve always been really shy. I admire people who can do things, but I never thought that I could do them myself and then I got involved in theater. In theater, you have to be a lot more outgoing. It doesn’t work if you’re a shy actress and I realized that I actually did have the capacity to not just be shy.
HC: What leadership qualities do you think you’re bringing to directing and putting the whole show together?
Julia: I think planning because there’s a lot of really good leaders who know how to inspire people, but have trouble putting everything together. I think that I’m pretty good at organizing and then getting across what needs to be done.
HC: What’s the best piece of leadership advice you’ve heard that has really resonated with you?
Julia: Probably be loud because even if you have good ideas, if you’re too afraid to see them and just whisper them to yourself, no one will know what you’re saying.
HC: Who are some of your role models?
Julia: Definitely my parents, my mom especially. I’m home-schooled and I’m the oldest of eight kids, so there’s somebody who really knows how to be a leader for us.
HC: How has homeschooling affected you deciding to come out of your shell?
Julia: I think that being homeschooled, since I see a lot of people who aren’t just my age, it’s helped me to learn how to talk to people older and younger. I think that’s kind of cool.
HC: How will the Zinch scholarship help you?
Julia: It will help me go to Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, which has a great theater program and a lot of qualities I’m looking for in a college. I actually just got back from my second visit there and that’s definitely where I want to go.