Julia’s Story

Julia Carter was born on April 18th, 1993 in Tacoma, WA on the Fort Lewis ARMY base, where her mother and father were both actively serving. The family moved to her father’s hometown of Decatur, IL when Julia was a baby. When Julia was just seven years old, her father died of a sudden heart attack after suffering for many years from heart disease. After his death, Julia’s mother moved her daughters to Pennsylvania, where she grew up outside of Hazleton, PA. The transition from a diverse, urban environment to a rural, small town was one that was not easy for Julia, and she struggled to racially and personally identify with those who surrounded her.

In 2015, Julia graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Spanish minor, being the first in her family to attend and graduate from college. After graduating from Penn State, Julia continued her studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and a Global Health certificate in April 2017. In Pittsburgh, Julia was involved in numerous organizations and initiatives centered around health equity, mentorship and retention of underrepresented minorities in higher education.

Feeling limited in the smaller city of Pittsburgh, Julia decided to make a major change and relocate to Washington, D.C. She secured a job at Braun Dermatology as a Medical Assistant, which reinforced her passion for medicine and offered her the opportunity to work directly with patients. Julia resigned from her job in April 2018 in order to enjoy her summer before beginning medical school.

Before starting medical school, Julia spent her summer living on an island in Fiji, as a contestant on Survivor Season 38: Edge of Extinction. This once-in-a-lifetime experience taught Julia a lot about herself and her strength, inner peace, and being a true survivor.

Julia is a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and the power of positivity. She currently lives in Newark, NJ, where she is in her first year of medical school at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School on a full-tuition scholarship. Julia speaks openly about her life, experiences, and her journey to self-discovery with the hope of inspiring others in some way.


“You may have been dealt a terrible hand of cards, but do not fold. Reshuffle your deck.”

– Julia Carter