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Board Member Spotlight: Jessica Schuster

 
 
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Board Member Spotlight: Jessica Schuster

In an effort to help spread our mission, we have taken the time to interview each of our SGBD board members. Meet Jessica Schuster. Jessica enjoyed a 12-year career as a criminal prosecutor, including 7 years as a Deputy District Attorney in San Diego’s family protection division.  She recently decided to take time off to focus on raising her two young children and contribute to her local community through SGBD. We recently interviewed Jessica about her involvement with SGBD and why our mission is particularly close to her heart.


When did you join SGBD?

January 2016


Why did you become involved with SGBD, and what has your involvement looked like over time?

I got to know Susan on a personal level during the course of having her do extensive interior design work in a home I had recently purchased. She shared her passion for design with me and told me about how she had recently found her true calling as she designed "dream rooms" for children facing cancer at no cost to them.

I had been looking for a way to honor my mother, Donna, who I lost in 2013 after she bravely battled ovarian cancer for over 9 years. My mom enjoyed a 35-year career as a teacher and I know she would have loved the work that this charity does for children who need a safe and comfortable place to recover with their families.

 
Jessica with her mom, Donna

Jessica with her mom, Donna


What makes our mission meaningful to you?

It has been scientifically proven that our environment can have either a positive or negative effect on us in a variety of ways. This fact is especially true when applied to a child who is facing a fight for his or her life. We have the ability to positively influence these kids' outlook by surrounding them with a palpable representation of the love their families and communities have for them. And that is powerful.


 

Which SGBD project do you remember most vividly?

I remember Lauren's room the most vividly because it was the first time I was on site for a "reveal." Seeing the passion in the eyes of every single volunteer who came to work on the project and the incredible reaction that Lauren and her family had when they saw her room for the first time was something I will never forget.

Jessica at Lauren's Room Reveal

Jessica at Lauren's Room Reveal

Lauren's Room

Lauren's Room


How would you describe the goals of the organization, and how does the organization achieve these goals?

Savvy Giving by Design's goal is to makeover bedrooms for children who are facing a medical crisis and long-term treatment protocols. We focus on both the practical needs and the whimsical wishes of each child and strike a balance between the two.


If this organization were to be on the cover of your favorite newspaper or magazine in five years, what would the story be about?

The story would be about one woman's passion project that turned into a nation-wide charity that encouraged communities to get behind their most vulnerable members and support them in a tangible way.


Jessica with her two kids, Sydney and Brevin

Jessica with her two kids, Sydney and Brevin

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What's your favorite inspirational quote?

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


Our organization cannot function without the support of others. Here are a few ways you can get involved with SGBD.