Julie J. Williams
Julie J. Williams is the volunteer founder and executive director of The Maren Fund. Julie began her journey 19 years ago when her daughter, Anne Maren Williams, was born with Down syndrome. Julie soon realized that Annie required academic supports her school was not able to provide.
Realizing a need for her own family and other families just like hers, Julie collaborated with the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County to create The Maren Fund – a nonprofit organization offering evidence-based academic support to children with Down syndrome in the St. Louis region. What began as a small pilot program for 12 children grew over 15 years to have almost 200 enrollments in 14 different classes. The Maren Fund ensures that children with Down syndrome are given every opportunity to read, learn, and grow with just the right academic supports so they can be fully included members of their communities.
Julie shares this honor with her husband Kip, daughter Annie, and many key individuals who have made The Maren Fund what it is today.