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YP of the Month – Jules Schroeder (November 2022)

First and Last Name:   Jules Schroeder

Hometown: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin!

Educational Background: Fond du Lac High School Class of 2002! I’m bordering on an old professional. I attended CUNY in NYC, Roosevelt University in Chicago, MATC Madison and was in the UWM Nursing Program and the MATC Milwaukee photography program. While I’ve not completed my degree, I’ve been lucky to attend many great colleges and study many things. I like to think they’re all helpful. 

Describe Yourself in Three Words: This is hard! But three other words would be: grateful, hopeful and kind, or I certainly try to be! 

Place of Employment and Position: Community Engagement Coordinator for Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts.  

What do you enjoy the most about your current position? My connections in the community. Feeling like I’m able to be a part of something positive for my community. All the people I’ve met and worked with. Getting experience in the nonprofit world and seeing how hard everyone works to do great things. I often can’t believe I get to do the work I do.
What is the one thing you would do if you knew you could not fail? I would love to have my own homestead one day full of kiddos and all the animals. I don’t even mind if I fail.

How has YPF contributed to your personal and/or professional development? Being a part of YPF has been wonderful. Personally and professionally, I’ve been inspired by all the changemakers and hard workers I’ve gotten to meet through YPF and seeing all the great things they are making happen. Meeting so many other inspiring people has been a gamechanger. I’ve met great people through YPF and I’m so happy to be a part of it.

Who or what is your source of professional inspiration? The team I work with at Thelma works so hard and is truly trying to bring positive change. The changemakers I’ve met in this community and the people I collaborate with in my work and through groups and committees here, like YPF! I also grew up in a family run business and my parents instilled in us the importance of work ethic and team work, for which I am very grateful.  

What are some of the professional and volunteer groups you participate in? I volunteer at the Galloway House. I’m on Pilgrim UCC’s Green Team committee and SPROUT’s committee and I’ll be joining Sustain Fond du Lac soon. I’m a member of the Envision Agribusiness Council and on their Ag Showcase committee. I attend United for Diversity meetings. I am a proud YPFer. Professionally I’ve loved connecting with ARC, NAMI, ASTOP, Solutions Center, United Way, United for Diversity, Ebony Vision, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Festival of Trees. There’s so many amazing organizations here doing wonderful things.
What is your favorite thing to do in the Fond du Lac area? I love going to our farmers’ markets and I love getting outside for walks and hikes with Lou. We also have a lot of fun, great community events I love going to.

Where do you see the Fond du Lac area in 5 years? I’ve honestly been so impressed with all the positive changes in the year I’ve been back. It’s been so exciting to see all these groups doing all this amazing work and always trying to grow. I’ve seen some great new businesses pop up here. I’ve seen Main Street change and grow. Our farmer’s market is wonderful. I’m happy there are change making groups like Pride Picnic and United for Diversity. I’ve seen real work being done to help with issues affecting our community like homelessness and mental health and substance abuse issues. I’m very proud of the work being done here and I see Fond du Lac in 5 years greatly benefited by all of this.

What words of wisdom do you have for other young professionals working in Fond du Lac? Connect! Meet other people doing exciting work in the community, and they will introduce you to other wonderful people. Connection has been the foundation of anything I’ve been able to do here. Take as many opportunities to explore what you’re interested in as you can, try different things out, get out and explore whatever area you’re interested in and meet others working in that field. Meeting one person that introduces you to another person can change the whole trajectory and open so many doors. And then one day you can be that person connecting others and it will be the best feeling.

What’s a work lesson you learned the hard way? I think overall asking for what you want or need and advocating for yourself can be a hard thing to do but it’s up to you to do it. There are things for me personally, and I’m sure for everyone, that feel like because of this qualification you don’t have or that category you don’t fit into, it may feel scary to ask for things, or it might take a minute to believe you can do the things you want to do, but if you ask for it and try the worst that will happen is you will learn something from it, I hope. Do the best you can and if you’re lucky you’ll love your job and the people you work with but all you can control is yourself and the work you are doing so at the end of the day, you’ll know you did your best which is all you can do.

What is your favorite fall activity in Fond du Lac? I love walking anywhere with my dog Lou. We have great trails here and nearby that are gorgeous, and we are just swimming in local apple orchards. I never get tired of the view of the ledge and country drives. 

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Being together. I love that we all pause and come together over a beautiful meal and practice gratitude. Sharing a meal with the people you love and having full bellies and full hearts is a gift.   

What are you grateful for? So many things! My family, my friends, I’m utterly grateful for my dog Eloise. I just bought my first home. I truly love my job and this community. My cup runneth over.   

If you could change the ending of any famous movie, which movie would it be? What would your new ending be? You’ve Got Mail Drives me insane. She’s so ecstatic that this man that’s been trying to put her adorable bookstore out of business has been lying to her, although I get it because how can you be mad at Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan. My new ending would be, immediately when he found out he was emailing with Kathleen Kelly, he would message her a simple: “Well this is a weird coincidence, but hey it’s me, Joe Fox”. 

What is your favorite Thanksgiving food? This feels like picking a favorite child. There’s not one Thanksgiving food I dislike. If I had to say, anything carb forward. Mashed potatoes, rolls. But truly all of it. I love food period, so any food forward holiday would be my favorite, and I think Thanksgiving takes the cake, so to speak!

Jules Schroeder