Vaughn is a volunteer advocate for the arts and cultural programs in San Diego. Though she has her own full-time law practice and is married with two sons, she finds the time and energy to delve into many nonprofits, including SD Police Foundation, USO San Diego, Legal Eagles for Youth, and Just in Time for Foster Youth.
Her vision for a better San Diego starts with what she hopes for children.
“I want all children to have a chance to live their dream,” said Vaughn.
Her own dream became a reality after Vaughn left home at 16. Through the guidance of caring mentors, she ended up at Point Loma Nazarene University where she found opportunities to begin living out her ambitions. Because of this chapter in her life, Vaughn is driven to volunteer with organizations that support children.
“I believe that every child has the ability and inspiration to dream big; they are the next generation to step up and impact the world,” she said.
Supporting the military and police department is also important to Vaughn because she knows they put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that people enjoy every day of their lives. Due to the active military’s long tours of duty and the local police officers’ schedules, many of their children do not see their parents for months on end.
“Through community programs, we can help,” Vaughn said. “I believe that we all need to stand up and advocate for what we believe is right for our future.”
When the City Council proposed 31 percent budget cuts for art, science and cultural programs in Balboa Park, Vaughn helped organize a rally downtown at City Hall to fight back for the arts.
“I want to do everything within my power to preserve the arts at our park to give our next generation the ability to step-up and impact the world through art, culture and science,” she said.
One of her largest and most important roles in the arts is found at Patrons of the Prado, a nonprofit of which she is currently the president. Vaughn explained that Patrons of the Prado is a unique organization providing unrestricted crucial funding for its 10 Prado beneficiaries, for arts, science and culture. The organization also provides essential funding for a program called Bucks4Buses, which is a critical provider of buses and educational programs for thousands of San Diego school children. Just last year, the Bucks4Buses program transported 35,000 San Diego school children to art, science and cultural centers at Balboa Park. For some of the youth, it was their first visit to the park.
“It’s absolutely inspiring and hopeful that some child may launch a lifetime love or career in art, science or history, because of their school visit to the park,” Vaughn said.
When asked how ensuring that art and cultural studies survive in education, Vaughn explained that the arts connect all people.
“By studying the arts, you learn about your culture and other cultures throughout the world. You get a chance to learn about other people. The better you get to know others,” she said.