Katelyn gives your "I Do's" a new do!

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Katelyn Stanis' father wanted desperately to write a eulogy that would honor how he felt about his father (her grandfather) after he passed away this July. But, no matter how many times he reworked each paragraph, he couldn't capture what was in his heart. Katelyn rewrote the eulogy and in the process, learned that she loved giving life to others emotions.

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She opened her own digital based business this summer as a wedding toast-writer, Wedding Words. She works with brides and grooms to "ghostwrite" their wedding vows. Everyone has heartfelt emotions they want to share, but the tricky part is trying to articulate those feelings. That's where Katelyn comes in. Her goal is to collaborate with couples to create wedding vows that honor their love story and make the bride or groom beyond excited to deliver their words.

"My grandfather always supported my writing and it fills me with joy to know that he has inspired me to continue with my talents even after he's gone." - Katelyn Stanis

Getting hitched? Be sure to check out her services here. We are so proud of you, @KatelynStanis! She #JaneDID those I Do's!

Taking education into her own hands...

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Shelley Skinner had a life changing realization that reset the course of her personal and professional life 10 years ago. Her daughter Ella was about 3 (she is now 14 going on 25) and Shelley started looking into the local public school options for her education.  Her research left her enraged, as most of local Jersey City Pubic Schools were failing despite being funded over 20K per student annually.

She only knew one politician, former Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop.

Figuring as an elected he must have some responsibility in school quality, Shelley took matters into her own hands, copying over 70 of her nearest and dearest parents and community members demanding to know what he was going to do about it.  She found that Jersey City Public Schools were under state control and as a city councilman, the governance of schools were way outside of Fulop's set of responsibilities. Instead of putting Shelley in her place, Steve encouraged her to organize parents, get involved politically if she wanted to effect change.

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She took on this challenge and, with his mentorship, organized hundreds of parents to get involved in board of education elections. This eventually led to Shelley managing Steve's 2nd council race in 2009, as well as making a professional change and working in Education Advocacy. Today she is the Executive Director of Better Education for Kids, an education advocacy organization focused on advocating for policy to improve educational outcomes for low income and minority children. Shelley is also proud to be the President of the Learning Community Charter (LCCS) School Board and to be named in the top 100 most Influential Policy Makers in NJ.

We love you and are so so proud of you, @shelskinner. Thanks for showing us what its like to kick ass and take names. She sure #JaneDID it. 

 

Bad ass optometrist Julia helps us see clearly

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Jane DO devotee Julia Dunnavant began her journey to Optometry when she was 14 years old, learning how to use contact lenses in her eye doctor's office. "Hey mom, I can do this for a living." While her mom thought she meant wearing contact lenses but she meant being an eye doctor. And she MEANT it. 

She graduated from college with a degree in Art History (Studying for an organic chemistry final while reading 100 pages about Renaissance tapestries... BADASS) and continued to pursue her doctorate degree at the SUNY College of Optometry in Manhattan. After graduating in 2015, she started working in opticals asking "what's better, 1 or 2?" for 8 hours straight without a lunch break just to pay the bills. She realized that she could do better because leaving work feeling beat up and under appreciated is not what she worked hard for her whole life. That's how she found Savoy, Siegel and Desai Optometrists (and Jane DO!) right in the heart of downtown Jersey City 1.5 years ago. She treats 30 patients a day - managing ocular emergencies and treating diseases for a living. With patients ranging from 6 months old to 96 years old, her exams vary from the basic eye check up and contact lens fitting to helping patients cope with vision loss from uncontrolled blood pressure/diabetes or progressive glaucoma. 

She learned the true importance of what she does in February 2016 when her mom, who had been living with stage 4 breast cancer for 6 years, called her to say that she was experiencing double vision. Julia worked closely with her mother's oncology team to help diagnose a late stage complication of metastatic cancer called Neoplastic Meningitis. Her mom passed away a year later - 6 months past what her doctors had predicted because of Julia's early detection and persistence. 

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We love you, @_jsd888. You #JaneDID it. Keep inspiring all of us to DO good for others.