2023 Princess Julia Rochford
Julia Meikle Rochford is a Montrealer with a long line of Irish heritage. Irish dance played an active role in her life as both herself and older sister Irish danced with the Bernadette Short School of Irish Dance until 2014. Performing on the St Patrick’s Day Parade float was always something she greatly enjoyed. Through the close-knit family of dancers and volunteers, Julia began to develop her Montreal-Irish identity. Furthermore, Julia’s mother sat on the board of the St. Patrick’s Society of Montreal and during that time, Julia had the opportunity to attend different events, learn what it means to be a descendant of Irish immigrants, and appreciate the true value of giving back to the community. Julia has been the chairperson of the Youth Committee for St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal for the last six years, allowing her to celebrate and learn about the role Montreal Celtic societies play in giving back to organizations supporting Montrealers.
Currently, Julia is in her final year of her Bachelor of Social Work at McGill, through which she is also completing an internship with the CLSC-Pierrefonds in their Jeunes en difficulté program. Her interest in the fields of social work and helping professions began at age ten when she had the experience of being a “reverse integration” student at Mackay Centre School, a school for children with physical disabilities. She continued to volunteer each summer throughout high school at camp Camp Massawippi, a camp for individuals with disabilities. In Secondary IV, she had the opportunity to volunteer at Logifem, a shelter for women in difficulty, which developed her interest in not-for-profit community organizations. After high school, she chose to study Special Care Counselling at Champlain Lennoxville. Throughout her three years of studies, she was a Resident Advisor and sat on various boards for both the CEGEP and Student Association. She completed her final CEGEP internship at Elizabeth House in Montreal in both their residential and high-school services. Then, throughout her undergraduate degree, she worked at an organization for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and also returned to Logifem for a stage. She was hired at Logifem in the mother-child pavilion and worked full-time while completing her degree.