Send Julia to Antarctica to Support Women in STEM

FAMILY! Friends! Here's the deal: 

After an extensive application process, I've been offered a seat at the table with Homeward Bound ( in which I enter a yearlong leadership program that culminates in a trip to Antarctica with 90 women in STEM that are equally dedicated to changing the world for the positive. My aim is to challenge myself to better understand what levers we can pull to achieve a more sustainable, empowered, and hopeful future. But here's the thing: I can't afford this opportunity without your help!!

Homeward Bound is a ground-breaking, global leadership initiative, set against the backdrop of Antarctica, which aims to heighten the influence and impact of women in making decisions that shape our planet.

All of the information that you may need can be found on their website:

This year, I'm graduating from my PhD in Biomedical Science and I've also been given the chance of a lifetime to join Homeward Bound in order to better train myself to lead, to empower STEM communities (particularly women), and to change the world. This is an integral step in my development to better understand how I can interface with leadership and lead global partnerships that could meaningfully impact my community and the world at large. 

Many of you already contribute (importantly) to political campaigns, Planned Parenthood, RAICES, the ACLU and other organizations. You may be asking yourself (rightfully), why this cause? 

Here's what I can say: 

1) I have only gotten to where I am now because of your support: emotionally, financially, physically, and through your tax dollars. I am a proud recipient of Pell Grants, Scholarships, Private Donations, and your faith. I have always put these investments to work to better my education and to mentor the youth, fight the good fight against oppressive forces, and build a better tomorrow.

I promise you: I have never let you down in these contributions. I will pay this gift forward and contribute everything I learn to the betterment of our community. 

2) We can and MUST lift those that are struggling and abused. We must also use our dollars to vote for the cutting edge of progress.

This is an opportunity to elevate our platform. I am someone you know to be ethical and successful in oft a small pond. PLEASE HELP PUT ME ON THE WORLD STAGE. 

3) I absolutely promise to use these skills and this training to run for office in the future and fight oppression, advance evidence-based policy, and empower marginalized communities. I can only do so with your constant support and care. It's all for us and the future generations. Please help me keep learning. 

Thank you so much for your time and consideration on this matter.

Please consider donating to this effort through: 

1) Donating here
2) Venmo: @Jderk 
3) Paypal:

Thank you, 


P.S. If I surpass the total, I will donate extra funds to the Homeward Bound Scholarship fund to help ladies from developing nations attend this amazing experience as well!


For those that don’t know me: Who’s Julia? 

40399832_156267590613893_r.jpegJulia is a 6th year PhD student at NYU School of Medicine studying Alzheimer’s disease, neuroinflammation, and how immune cells may be guiding how we think! 
40399832_1562675322579515_r.jpegShe’s a mentor, cofounder, and codirector of a mentorship program called Clear Direction Mentoring for underrepresented minority high schoolers. 
40399832_1562675776455678_r.jpegShe has helped to cofound two advocacy organizations at NYU to help contribute to a more inclusive, diverse, open minded, and peaceful training program. 
40399832_1562675420651593_r.jpegShe’s an activist, a turtle pet owner, avid skier and yogi, and a woman on a mission!  Please consider following her journey of fundraising @juliaderk on Instagram or contributing to her campaign here!
40399832_1562675933908562_r.jpegLooking forward to taking you with me on this amazing trip within myself and to the end of the Earth! 

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Julia Derk 
New York, NY
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