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Gilmore recognized as Appalachian Highlands Twenty under 20, other accolades

Julia Gilmore 20 Under 20

You’ve probably heard Julia Gilmore’s name before. But there is little doubt that you will continue to hear about the Science Hill junior. Gilmore – who is a varsity cheerleader, member of the Science Hill Student Government Association, the Beta Club, and the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership Group – was recently recognized by Appalachian Highlands for Twenty Under 20.

With her more than 2,000 hours of community service, Gilmore also recently earned the Governor’s Star Volunteer Award Youth Honoree for Washington County from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.

“I am really honored,” said Gilmore about the Twenty Under 20 Award. “I’ve really had the opportunity to gain a lot of awards and recognitions, but the Twenty Under 20 is really special to me, just because it does recognize a lot of teens under the age of 20. And a lot of what I do has to deal with implementing community service on other teenagers. So, with this award, I feel like I’ve been given a platform to reach other teens. I’m really honored and excited to see what this award can do for me.”

Gilmore said that she learned about the Twenty Under 20 Award from Chamber Leadership including Elisa Britt and McKenzie Templeton. STREAMWORKS presents the 2022 Appalachian Highlands Twenty Under 20 Awards which celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of twenty individuals who are younger than 20 years of age. These superlatives have demonstrated exemplary achievements in community service, entrepreneurialism, leadership, academics, STEM activities, and more. Gilmore was the only Science Hill student recognized. However, Cooper Reaves (Science Hill Class of 2020) was also recognized as an ETSU student.

Gilmore and her family moved to Johnson City from Chicago in 2018. She got her start with community service when she was 9 years old, as she started volunteering for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Gilmore said that she was in and out of the hospital when she was little and she wanted to give back to people who were in a similar situation. She started by making little tied blankets and then delivering them to the patients at St. Jude.

After seeing the success of her community outreach, Gilmore created the Gilmore Giving Tree, which combines her last name and her favorite children’s book, The Giving Tree. The website and social media presence help outline her volunteerism while also helping teens figure out ways that they can give back to their community.

“I’ve had the opportunity to share my journey and the impact that community service can have on other people,” Gilmore said. “In my opinion, it’s just an amazing feeling to be able to give back to those who are less fortunate.”

Gilmore encourages to start by taking projects that people are passionate about because then it never feels like work.

“I think community service is just not talked about a lot of promoted as it should be,” Gilmore said. “Science Hill does a really, really great job of that by giving volunteer opportunities for people who may not know what to do. But I think it’s something that we really need to start implementing in the youth. That is how I got into it when I was 9, and it just never stopped and kept growing.”

Whether that is writing letters to the elderly, volunteering at animal shelters, or spending your time feeding the less fortunate.

“People look at it like or chore or something else to do, until they actually do it and they see and feel the impact that they’ve made,” Gilmore said. “So, I think the big thing is that we can really tell communities is to find something that you are passionate about. It doesn’t have to be anything big, it can be something little, you just have to be passionate about it. Which will lead to bigger and better things.”

As far as her future, Gilmore said she is still taking time to look at her different career and college options. She plans to pursue a major in biology and pre-medicine in order to go back to her roots of working with St. Jude and caring for young children in the hospital.

“I really want to go back to my roots of working with St. Jude and the children in the hospital,” Gilmore said. “I really love science and I love medicine, so that’s kind of where my heart is right now. But I don’t see myself stopping the Gilmore Giving Tree. I only see it growing, so I am excited to see where I can take that.”





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