Meet Girlboss Juliette Cho
Given the incredibly positive response from last week’s first post in the Girlboss series, I decided to feature another incredible woman this week. It is my pleasure to introduce you to my good friend and impressive game-changer – Juliette Cho.
Juliette Cho is the Director of Development at Pencils of Promise, an international for-purpose NGO that builds schools and provides quality education to children in Guatemala, Ghana, Laos. In her current capacity, she oversees all fundraising and development.
Prior to joining Pencils of Promise, Juliette was the Deputy Director at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, continuing a career in non-profit consulting, management and development. During her tenure at UNICEF, she led emergency funding rounds for projects in Chad, South Sudan, Nicaragua, Nepal and Syria and leadership funding for UNICEF programs that provide support to children in emergency situations through the arts, education and sports.
Juliette previously served as the first Major Gifts Officer at Make-A-Wish Mid Atlantic where she launched the chapter’s first major gifts campaign and founded the chapter’s Young Professionals Council and Women’s Leadership Council. Prior to that, she managed accounts at Odell, Simms & Lynch where she managed multi-million dollar capital campaigns for international projects including the Korean War National Museum, Library and Cultural Center and worked on campaigns including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Campaign and the National Museum of the United States Army. During her career, she has also worked for PBS in both New York City and Washington D.C. and the National HQ of the American Red Cross.
Juliette is a graduate of the University of Virginia and lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and her dog.
I mean, wow! Does it get any more impressive?
Juliette fortunately made some time to fit me in her busy schedule of saving lives to do an interview. Enjoy!
S: How’d you get where you are today?
J: Faith, hard work and an open and curious heart. My day job (and passion) is to help people from all walks of life build a relationship of meaning with philanthropy. Helping others is a part of my history and in my blood. My grandfather received UNICEF aid in 1953 in South Korea. He came from having nothing to building a life of success in the United States. He told me his secret to success was never fearing hard work and always “showing up”. This stayed with me and developed into an unyielding determination to find a career and organizations where I could “show up” for kids – especially those that remind me a lot of what my grandpa must have been like when he was young – bright and full of purpose. I’ve judged every opportunity that has come my way through the lens of whether my actions at work today will have real life implications in making childrens lives better. This has led me to work for some amazing organizations like the Red Cross, Make A Wish Foundation, UNICEF and, now, Pencils of Promise.
S: Do you have a mentor? Do you think it’s important?
J: Yes! I have several because two can go farther than one and three can go farther than two. I once heard that people are lucky in particular things – for me, I have been lucky in meeting some seriously badass women who are further along in aspects of their life journey than me. I value their counsel, their ability to give me what I need, whether that is encouragement or a bit of humility, and willingness to share their life lessons so that I can go further.
S: Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
J: Beyonce and Sara Blakely because both remind me how the worst thing that you ever thought could happen, can become your greatest blessing (Lemonade). It all depends on how you look at a situation or problem.
S: What is your favorite quote?
J: “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela
S: What is your favorite vacation spot?
J: Champagne in Reims France. My favorite hotel in the world is there called Domaine Les Crayeres.
S: Would you recommend a book to readers?