Introducing our 3 new Board Members, Stephan Marshall, Douglas Steward, and Fred Shen! We asked our newest members to share how they were introduced to StarVista, what our mission means to them, and more!
How did you become involved with StarVista?
Stephan Marshall – I met Sara Mitchell years ago, long before she was CEO. As we got to know each other, she would talk about the organization she worked for which was called YFES. I shared with her some personal and professional experiences that had a lot in common with the work YFES was doing in the community. Before long, she had convinced me to join the board and I have been involved ever since.
Douglas Stewart – I was looking for a local organization for whom I could provide my support and (hopefully) some expertise to the organization. A close friend of mine recommended StarVista and spoke very highly of the organization. At first, I did not know a lot about StarVista, but did research and was very impressed with the services provided by StarVista, particularly those relating to youth. I have a particular passion for trying to help and support youth, which makes StarVista a great fit for me. After meeting with Sara and many of the staff, I realized what a wonderful organization StarVista is, and how critically important the services are to our community. I knew right then that StarVista was an organization that I wanted to support, and I am honored to be on the Board of StarVista.
Fred Shen – I was introduced to StarVista by my next-door neighbor and board member Steve Shray, who hosted a Discover StarVista tour.
What makes StarVista’s mission meaningful to you?
Stephan Marshall – I struggled with drug addiction for most of my 20’s. After I got sober, I went back to school to get certified as a drug and alcohol counselor and worked in that field for about 3 years. When I got settled in my current career as a real estate agent, it was important for me to reconnect somehow with people who struggle with addiction and with organizations that offer that help. I believe that people come into your life for a reason and meeting Sara and her family has allowed me to connect with StarVista and give back to our community in so many ways. I will forever be grateful to the friends and family that lifted me up and provided the assistance I needed. My past experience has taught me a few fundamentals: We must have compassion for others, for our neighbors, for our community. We must be willing to extend remarkable opportunities to remarkable people, even at their lowest moments. Serving on the StarVista Board allows me to do that.
Douglas Stewart – Youth are our future, and too many youths are less fortunate, and truly need support and services, whether that is through crisis prevention, counseling (individual and family), shelter, or other support. Seeing the positive work done by Your House South, Daybreak, and the Crisis Center inspires and moves me to try to help our youth even more.
Fred Shen – Having been a resident of San Carlos since 2014, I’d been looking for a way to connect and give back to my community. I’ve always been a big believer that each of us has not just a responsibility, but an ability (more than we often realize) to leverage our personal journeys and positively impact others who might need a helping hand. StarVista does this at scale.
What projects excite you most in the upcoming year?
Stephan Marshall – Just back on board so not sure yet.
Douglas Stewart – Honestly, all of them excite me!
Fred Shen – Our Changing Lives inaugural event, along with our adoption of Telehealth programs.
Have you learned anything surprising about StarVista or the mental health industry that you never knew before?
Stephan Marshall – Nothing.
Douglas Stewart – It seems as though I learn something new every time I am engaged with StarVista. That said, I’m continually surprised by the number of people who need support but are either too afraid or too embarrassed to ask for help, or just don’t know where to turn for help.
Fred Shen – The deep history, the infrastructure, and the depth/breadth of skills of the supporting staff.
What is something you wish your community knew about StarVista?
Stephan Marshall – I wish that the community knew how many programs StarVista actually represents. My guess is that many of us have benefited from a StarVista program and don’t even know it.
Douglas Stewart – The number of people served by StarVista each year, through all its programs, which gives a true idea of the importance of StarVista in our community and the need to support this organization.
Fred Shen – The numbers. Number of lives that StarVista positively impacts, the number of services, and diversity of programs that are offered. And, “proximity” – all of this is happening literally in your backyard.
To learn more about StarVista’s Board of Directors, click here.