valley sun all-staR julia rowe:

Whether she’s engaged in a competitive water polo game with La Cañada High School or in Mexico helping to build houses for those less fortunate, this week’s Valley Sun All Star puts her heart and dedication into her every mission.

LCHS junior Julia Rowe was nominated to be a Valley Sun All-Star by La Cañada resident Anne Tryba, who knows Rowe through Girl Scouts. Tryba said Rowe is worthy of recognition because she’s “a leader in so many ways.”

Rowe and her family moved to La Cañada from Sunland when she was 11 months old. She is the daughter of Monica Heath and John Rowe. Her brother, John, 19, attends Glendale Community College.

Julia Rowe said she enjoys spending time with her family, especially now as she gets older and can appreciate them.

“My brother and I used to have a lot of sibling rivalry, but now we’re really close,” she said, adding that she and John spent time in Tijuana, Mexico, earlier this year putting in the foundation for a house, built by volunteers through Esperanza International, a group that builds homes for families in that country.

The experience was life altering for Rowe. “It was so neat to help other people. I never knew it was like that in Tijuana,” she said.

“We have it really good living in La Cañada, where you have everything. [In Tijuana], they don’t have good houses or running water. I mean, we only built cinder block houses, but it’s so much better than they are used to. Here, if you want something, you just go buy it, but there it’s so hard to get things done. It felt really good to go outside my community and help people who really needed some help,” she added.

Rowe is working on her Girl Scout Gold Award, which is similar to the Boy Scout’s Eagle Scout award, and will be coordinating a Battle of the Bands event at Memorial Park to educate young people about social justice organizations.

Rowe is a member of the LCHS varsity water polo team and the swim team, she has logged 400 hours of community service time, has been a counselor at a Girl Scout camp in Altadena, and attended 12 years at the Girl Scout’s Oak Grove Camp.

She also is active at Neighborhood Church in Pasadena, where she is the spirituality coordinator for the church’s high school board. Attending a church in Pasadena is nice because it allows her to meet and connect with youths from outside her area, she said. “I have so many friends from different schools and areas, it’s great,” she added.

Rowe also is a La Cañada Thursday Club debutante and recently attended the California Women’s Conference.

Rowe plans to major in history in college and hopes to someday use that interest to better other people’s lives.

Fellow La Cañadan and former neighbor of the Rowe family, Ann McClelland said she’s always thought of Julia as a “third daughter,” and her family thinks positively of the youth. “She has a lot of friends and she’s pretty and she’s very dedicated,” McClelland said, adding, “I think the fact that she’s able to stick out water polo and all of her Girl Scout activities reinforces that.”

To nominate a youth to be a Valley Sun All-Star e-mail

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