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Julia Richards

Julia Richards

Years spent at Gladwyne Montessori: 2000-2006

Degrees working toward: Political Science and Classical Studies, Middlebury College 

What is your plan after graduating from Middlebury?

For the past two summers, I’ve interned with Athena Global Advisors, a business consulting firm in Philadelphia. There, I’ve worked on the events team to conduct research and data collection for various projects. One such project is working on NBCUniversal pre-screening activations—a reception and movie pre-screening—for films not yet in theaters. Another collaboration is a program with Comcast called “Internet Essentials”, a non-profit initiative that brings the internet to low-income families, students, veterans, and seniors; just this year, the company held events in 12 different cities throughout the United States. I discovered this opportunity by taking the initiative to browse my college’s alumni network database and look for shared interests; after conversations with various professionals, I stumbled upon Athena, whose CEO happened to major in Classics at Middlebury. I'm so thrilled to officially join the team on a full-time basis after graduation! 

What other endeavors and accomplishments have defined your college experience?

I've been a member of the Middlebury field hockey team for all four years, and we are back-to-back national championships, winning the NCAA Division III National Championship in both 2017 and 2018. Merging athletics with academics, I’ve earned the NESCAC All-Academic accolade for three years, and during the 2017 season when we went to the Final Four, I was nominated for the “Elite 90”, an award that honors a student athlete who competes at the national championship level and achieves the highest academic standard among peers. Outside of field hockey and my own studies, I also tutor Latin students on campus and work as a circulation assistant at my school’s library. Gladwyne Montessori instilled a love of learning in me, and I find it carries over into my present life as I constantly stay busy and continually grow as a person.  

As you reflect on your time as a student here, what are your biggest takeaways?

My formative years in Primary with Kim Auch (she was also the Primary teacher to both of my younger brothers). I was allowed to discover who I was, understand what I like, and choose which activities to participate in. It may be the physical component of it, or perhaps the act of transforming, but I always looked forward to juicing oranges. Something so simple can’t typically be found in the traditional classroom, but I needed that freedom to form my interests. Also, the visual aspect of learning; math has never been my strong suit, but the bead chains and ten tables—being able to actually see how many go into addition or some equation—was helpful in understanding the multiples of any number. I was able to learn these skills faster over other, more standard memorization techniques.

What do you value most about your time at Gladwyne Montessori?

The ability to have a choice and learn in an atmosphere that promotes self-discovery and growth was crucial in developing who I am. That freedom to explore is so unique, helping me realize that all aspects of my life are opportunities to learn and also that all problems come with the chance to innovatively address them. Over a decade later, I find myself living that idea each day. In fact, the slogan of Athena Global Advisors is “finding creative solutions,” which is so fitting because Gladwyne Montessori led me on this trajectory to being adaptable as a person and in situations that involve others. As a member of a team sport, the collaborative mentality presents itself every day; we trust in our teammates regardless of how our team is performing. As two-time, back-to-back national champions, there’s a lot of pressure to perform, and continue to perform, at a high level. As an athlete, that collaboration, and the ability to work together with others towards a common goal, is a part of me that Gladwyne Montessori fostered.