Julie Este-McDonald was born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She attended Xavier University of Louisiana and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in Chemistry and a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. She also has a post-graduate certification in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the states of Louisiana and Texas. She has worked as a counselor, grant manager, an adjunct Psychology instructor at a junior college, and most recently as the Founder, President, and Executive Director of Salt and Light Collaborative, Inc., a nonprofit counseling agency focusing on Building up people, Building up communities, and Backing up faith-based organizations through counseling, life coaching, workshops, and consulting. She has presented at the Louisiana Counseling Association yearly conference on topics such as trauma, race, racism and mental health, and spirituality and mental health. She also recently became a certified Zumba instructor, because why not? Julie has been married to her husband Jorge for 19 years and has three boys: Mateo (16), Carlos (13), and Mauricio (10). The family also has a new fur baby, Koda, who Julie is preparing to be a therapy dog.