The 35U began with a vision to inspire the leaders of tomorrow by telling them about the leaders of today. With millions of people involved in government, education, business and community service across the country, it sometimes may be hard for the 35U to connect to leaders individually simply due to an age barrier. The 35U to us is any young adult from the ages of 18-35 in this country. These individuals have a voice – they can vote, serve, and most importantly, they can make a difference for future generations.

Today’s Q&A feature is Julia Murphy, Community Leader and Chief Development Officer for Compass Community Center (Compass).Compass is one of the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community centers in Florida and the Southeast United States. More than 25,000 people utilize its 14,000 square foot facility, and more than 17,000 referrals are fielded by more than 12,000 volunteer hours graciously contributed by hundreds of community-centered individuals each year. Julia earned her Bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University in social work and Masters Degree in social work from Barry University. She has led the way in cultivating a stronger young professionals community in Palm Beach County through her leadership and engagement as the President of the Young Professionals of the Palm Beaches, Advisory Board Chair for New Leaders Council Palm Beach, and member of the Junior League of the Palm Beaches. In 2018, Julia received the Young Professional of the year award from the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches. We caught up with Julia to find out what leadership means to her and what advice she would give to the next generation of leaders.

Why did you choose this career path?

I have always wanted to help people. From a young age my mother was always helping others. It was something that we didn’t discuss but just did. I started my college years as a Psychology major and shortly realized social work made sense to who I was. During my final year in my Bachelor in Social Work program at Florida Atlantic University I chose Compass as my internship and haven’t turned back.

Who inspired you to get involved?

My family has always been my inspiration. There is an unspoken sense of giving back that all my siblings and I have.

How do you define a leader?

A leader is someone that leads by example and understands their community. When you lead others you have to take that responsibility with an understanding of how to help others reach their full potential.

What projects are you currently involved with in the community that engages the next generation of leaders?

I have dedicated my life and career to serving the LGBTQ community and committed to creating an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible community that welcomes and engages diverse communities. I’m currently working on cultivating a stronger young professionals community in Palm Beach County. I volunteer my time with several organizations. I am President of the Young Professionals of the Palm Beaches, Board Member of Palm Beach Young Professionals, Advisory Board Chair for New Leaders Council Palm Beach, and a member of The Junior League of the Palm Beaches, Forum Club of the Palm Beaches, Palm Beach County Historical Society’s Steering Committee, and the National Association of Social Workers.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders who want to get involved?

My advice would be to find a project, group, or activity that inspires you or that you are passionate about. When you are passionate about what you are doing it will drive you.