Julie Aleman, B.A. 2006

Executive Director, Younger Family Fund, San Francisco, CA

B.A., Cultural Anthropology and Religion (2006)

How has being a Cultural Anthropology graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"I started my first job in nonprofit fundraising after graduating with a double major in Religion and Cultural Anthropology. In retrospect, cultural anthropology showed me the complexity of systems to where trying to solve any one societal problem, such as youth unemployment in San Francisco for example, has to factor in many dynamics that make up society and power. In working with donors, I also had insight into how to understand their own stories that might lead them to want to give to a particular solution to make their community better for others and themselves."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Cultural Anthropology programs?

"People love to say "well what are you going to do with that?" It can wear you down. Instead, know you're bringing some valued ways of engaging with history, your present interactions, and future that will make wherever you land be a better place. There's no direct career path but you will find your way."

Julie Aleman