About Us » Staff
Julie Rayes is a firm believer that the greatest rewards come from helping others. Working at Winning Futures helps fulfill that desire because she has seen the program’s impact and how it has changed the lives of thousands of teens. As the donor relations manager, she oversees grants, sponsor retention, and ensuring donors receive recognition for their contributions.
Like many of our students, it was the support of a mentor who encouraged Julie to pursue her dream of attending college. At her first “real job,” Julie’s boss encouraged her to take some classes at Macomb Community College. After completing her associate degree, she headed to Wayne State University where she minored in the nonprofit sector.
At WSU, Julie was the recipient of the Otto Feinstein Award for Excellence in Writing for her thesis addressing illiteracy in the city of Detroit. This experience spurred her desire to work in the nonprofit field. After learning about our program from her husband who was a volunteer mentor, she quickly decided that her goal was to join the Winning Futures team, which she did in August, 2011.
“Every aspect of the program – from working on attitude and self-discovery, to interviewing, and experiencing real-world career exposure – helps kids become prepared for what life throws at them,” said Julie. “At the heart of the program are people who believe in these young people and will do whatever is necessary to see them succeed.”
Born and raised in St. Clair Shores, Julie loves the community and lives there with her amazing husband, Chris. They are the proud parents of two wonderful sons, Robert and Matthew. In her off time, Julie volunteers for local schools and churches, enjoys traveling, gardening, and working on home renovations with the family.