Partner Q & A: Claudia Sangster

The first Partner we’re featuring is one of our founding Partners and fearless leaders, Board Chairperson Claudia Sangster.

Q: Why did you join LASVP?

Claudia: I joined because I believe the best way to learn is by doing! I heard about Seattle SVP and was very intrigued by the model. LASVP offers a living laboratory for individuals to learn about how to be effective grant-makers and to make a difference in the community and that really appealed to me. Rather than creating a foundation or even a donor-advised fund, I thought it would be more beneficial (and fun!) to work with other like-minded individuals who collectively want to make a difference in our community. I realized that “going it alone” did not make the most sense in terms of learning and that joining forces with others and combining resources to work collaboratively with nonprofits to assist them in being more effective as well was the better model for learning. It has been a wonderful ride and I continue to learn, grow and enjoy working with my partners!

Q: What book are you reading right now?

Claudia: Ron Chernow’s biography of George Washington and Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life.

Q: What did you dream of being when you were a kid?

Claudia: A firefighter!

Q: If SVP could solve one problem in L.A., what would you pick?

Claudia: Education. I believe that education is the means to end many of our social ills and right now we are at the tipping point in our community as to whether or not we will or even can provide a quality education to those most vulnerable children who are from low-income families, second language learners, etc., who are not receiving the type of education needed to lift them and their families out of poverty. If we don’t “fix” our education system here in LA we are going to continue to not have a workforce ready for the higher paying jobs and will continue the cycle of poverty.

Q: Who was your favorite teacher in school?

My 6th grade teacher. She pushed all of her students to be the best we could be, she used creative ways to make the materials exciting and she reminded each one of us that we were capable of performing at a level of excellence that I have not seen before or since. She believed in us and as a result made us believe in ourselves.

You can find out more about Claudia and the rest of the SVP Partners on our website.


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