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My OC: Kylie Schuyler of Global G.L.O.W.

Philanthropist Kylie Schuyler found a haven in Laguna Beach

Kylie Schuyler worked as a Wall Street trader and later earned advanced degrees in clinical psychology while raising her young children. But when her husband’s job with Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach moved the family to Tokyo in 2002, Schuyler felt a bit lost. “There were a lot of people like me, trailing spouses, who had skills and ability to do things but weren’t able to do them,” she says.

A chance encounter with the founder of a charity that builds schools in Cambodia set her on a new path. Through the organization, World Assistance for Cambodia, Schuyler volunteered on projects in rural villages. She helped start an offshoot program that got more girls to attend these new schools and connected them to older women who could act as mentors.
“I credit that with changing my life,” she says of the work she did in Cambodia. “I was able to see my contribution being transformative, and that was a really big deal.”

In 2009, her husband, Doug Hodge, was transferred back to Orange County. Schuyler, now a world away from the work that had helped give her a new purpose, felt lost again. “I spent six months really in a state of depression,” she says. “So I decided to bring something back. I knew it’d focus on girls and that it’d have something to do with mentoring.”

The result is the Santa Ana-based nonprofit, Global G.L.O.W., which stands for Girls Leading Our World. The organization combines a literacy and arts curriculum with a mentorship program for girls around the world, including here in Orange County.

“My biggest thought was I wanted to see the girls, for my own inspiration,” she says. “Every day I can see the girls, and their lives changing.” They’re not the only kids she sees, of course. Schuyler, 55, and Hodge, now Pimco’s chief executive, have seven children ages 7 to 25. When the whole gang is home, she says, “It’s so much fun.”

Neighborhood: Laguna Beach

Why live there: When we first moved here, I didn’t want to live in a conservative place, and in 1989 I couldn’t possibly live anywhere outside of Laguna. It’s liberal, tolerant and respectful.

Idea of a perfect day: Go for a run in the canyons, then come back and go to the beach. A perfect day would be like that – when I can think and read.

Favorite place to shop: A’maree’s in Newport Beach for gorgeous, beautifully displayed merchandise and stunning retail space and Studio SUZAN in Costa Mesa for the creative, unique statement jewelry.

Restaurant: Babette’s. I have a tiny affiliation with it, because the other one is in East Hampton. And I met my husband in the Hamptons. So when they came, we went and it’s very pleasant. You can sit outside and there’s a little fire.

On my nightstand: I do tend to read nerdy books, like about the adolescent brain. The one I just read and really loved was “Brainstorm” (by Dan Siegel). It’s about adolescent brain development. I did my thesis, both for my master’s and in my Ph.D. program, in adolescent development. But this is new to me because they now can do brain scans. We can see how brains work. The technology opened up a whole new way of looking at the brain. I just find it fascinating.

Red or white: Definitely red. A really hearty red.

Angels or Dodgers: Angels. My kids would kill me if I didn’t say that.

Pet peeves: It’s just people not telling the truth. Really, that’s my biggest one.

Best family rules: We have our family rules written down. The cute one I can think of is ‘No double dipping.’ The other ones are pretty standard, like staying at the dinner table until everyone is done.

Female icons: The one who comes to me is Gloria Steinem, whom I just met. She was in Orange County. I think strong women like that, they’re the ones who did it for us. And now it’s my turn.

Best advice to girls: What I talk about mostly is that you are entitled to your dreams and be clear about them. State them. I read something like, “A dream without a plan is just a wish.” I talk about those things with girls.

Favorite place to travel: The place I loved the most when I visited was Bhutan. They measure gross national happiness. There are monks everywhere, beautiful mountains. We went on some amazing hikes. I went with a bunch of women on this excursion. And after that we stayed at an Aman resort.

Best celebrity encounter: I recently had a chance to sit down with Madeleine Albright for tea in New York and was extremely impressed and in awe of her. We laughed about how her famous comment, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help one another,” got her into so much trouble.

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