MEET THE FOUNDER 

Julie Barrientes is the Founder and President of Grow the Vine Community Connection.  She has experienced many difficult circumstances and adverse events in her life, including exposure to abuse, chronic medical conditions, loss of employment, and unexpected loss of her husband.

Julie has undergone 35+ surgeries on her throat due to laryngeal papilloma since she was 2 years old, leaving her with extensive vocal fold scarring and a voice disorder.  She was teased throughout childhood and struggled with low self-esteem as a result.  However, using those limitations as strengths to help others like her, Julie became a board-certified Speech-Language Pathologist in 2001.

In addition, Julie has had 3 brain surgeries since 2010.  Following her third brain surgery in 2015, she lost her full-time employment of 15 years, because she was unable to return to work without restrictions. Julie felt a strong calling through this process to extend support to others also experiencing adverse life events.  Based on John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches,” Grow the Vine Community Connection was founded in 2016.  Julie's desire is to use the negative circumstances and events in her life to be a catalyst to help others, as she relies on God’s guidance to direct her steps along the way.