Member Feature: Julie Welter (DeBisschop)

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club? 
When I moved to USC most of my friends lived in various Pittsburgh neighborhoods. I purchased my home because of the excellent schools, walking distance to the rec center and the (relatively) flat back yard. All that was missing was feeling like part of this community. Making friends as an adult, particularly after divorce, can be challenging. After running into Elizabeth Schwall at a a mutual friend’s going away dinner, she convinced me to join newcomers and co-chair the book club. I’m so grateful I took the leap and agreed to both before I had even attended my first meeting.

Where did you recently move from? 
Charlotte, North Carolina.

Where did you grow up? 
I was extremely fortunate to be raised as an expat brat/third culture kid. I was born in Brazil to an American Dad and a Brazilian Mom. My Dad’s job enabled us to live in São Paulo, various parts of the US, Germany and Singapore. I have traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia. Morocco, the Maldives and the Iguazu Falls are at the top of my extensive travel bucket list.

Where did you go to college and what did you study? 
I initially studied early childhood education at Clemson University. I transferred to the University of Pittsburgh where I majored in psychology.

What do you do for your day job? 
My primary job is being a Mom to my two beautiful children. I do a little copywriting and also sell Stella & Dot jewelry as side businesses.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages? 
Andrew is 5 and will be starting kindergarten at Baker elementary in the fall.  Olivia turns 4 in 2 weeks. She attends Mushroom Family Learning Center in Mt Lebanon.

Do you have any pets? 
I have a dog, Penny, who fell in love with my parents’ dog while they watched her this summer. At this point we share custody. 😉

What do you like to do for fun?
I love discovering small, independently owned restaurants. Luckily Pittsburgh’s food scene is thriving. Since I love food and red wine I exercise a lot. You can find me at the rec center almost every evening. Kettlebell is my absolute favorite class, but love anything that will let me sweat away stress.

Other activities I enjoy include; scouring thrift and secondhand stores for mid-century furniture, cooking, hiking, attending art and literature lectures, painting, blasting really bad pop music while running, Bloody Mary brunches and cheering for the Steelers

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I am a voracious reader. My goal is to read a different book every day, but life doesn’t always allow that to happen. 3-4 books per week is about my average. Recent books I have read and highly recommend include; The Rosie Project, You Before Me, The Goldfinch, Burial Rites, What Alice Forgot, Beautiful Ruins and Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
I’m training to run the half-marathon in May. I’ve had three surgeries since July so may not be the fastest, but as long as I manage to beat the sweep vehicles and raise money for Komen I’ll consider it a win.

I purchased my home from the estate of the original owners. To say it needs updating is an understatement. There is a lot of painting, wall paper peeling and landscaping I need to finish. Luckily, I plan to live here forever since tackling the projects while my children are sleeping makes for very slow progress.

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
Wine club. I mean, book club are my favorite events. Amazing women, food, wine and books. What else is there, really?

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?
After years of navigating through early intervention services I have become extremely knowledgable about the various service providers, integrating multi-sensory therapies that result in dramatic language, behavioral and motor improvements, writing IEP goals and advocating for services for your child. My son is the poster child for early intervention success. I have happily shared what I have learned with other parents I have encountered. I am starting a new blog and consulting service for fellow parents. If anyone in the newcomers sees their child struggle, but isn’t sure what options are in the area feel free to contact me. I’m always available for coffee will be live shortly.