Meet Julia Merriam ’10
“Everything changed for me when I started at Waynflete,” says Julie Merriam ’10. Prior to entering Upper School as a sophomore, she had been shy and focused on academics. “But at Waynflete, I felt encouraged to try things that I had never felt comfortable doing before.” Julie took up lacrosse and field hockey along with other extracurriculars. “It helped me later in life to seek out the things I wanted to do. I doubt that I would have had that confidence without the Waynflete experience.”
During her high school breaks, Julie volunteered with Partners In Development, a nonprofit that helps improve the quality of life in impoverished communities in Haiti, Guatemala, and Mississippi through economic development, children’s programs, and housing and medical assistance. Julie’s teachers supported her global citizenship work. “I went to Haiti three months after the 2010 earthquake,” she says. “It had a real impact on me.” Julie wrote a paper about her experience, and her teacher, Taffy Field, helped her process the event. “I always had a lot of support when I was at Waynflete.”
After finishing her BS in psychology at Yale, Julie won a 10-month fellowship to work with Partners In Development. She documented the prevalence of intestinal worm infection among schoolchildren, helped assess the efficacy of the standard care of treatment, and explored the variables that affect disease susceptibility.
Medical school is next on Julie’s agenda. She may focus on infectious diseases—having worked in the field since tenth grade!—although primary care is also an option.
Julie’s advice for today’s Waynflete students? Jump on opportunities that present themselves. “Waynflete taught me to take the initiative,” she says. “If you’re interested in something, run with it and see where it leads you!”
Learn more about Partners In Development at pidonline.org.