Children’s welfare inspires Jeanette Day of La Jolla to work for justice

Jeanette Day is an attorney who represents children. Due to her awareness of the unique, critical needs of foster children, she co-founded “Just in Time for Foster Youth” (JIT), a non-profit whose services help steer foster youth into productive adulthood. (More at

Day has served three terms on San Diego County’s Children, Youth and Families Commission. In the 1980s, she helped coordinate a renovation of the county shelter for abused children. She was a founding board member of Friends of Children and The Coming Together Foundation. She served on the board of management for the YMCA Youth and Family Services, the advisory board to Angels Foster Family Agency, was vice president of philanthropy for St. Germaine Children’s Charity, and was a member of the San Diego Junior League.

Day has been recognized by numerous organizations for her community work spanning three decades, including the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary and Channel 10’s Leadership Award.

What brought you to La Jolla?

When I was younger I came to La Jolla to swim the Cove and enjoy the nightlife. It took many years, but eventually I just had to move to La Jolla. I did it on a whim and a shoestring budget but was able to eventually and proudly make it my home. La Jolla is such a special place with beauty, ocean, a village, outdoor activities and easy living. The people who live here are wonderful. Whether it is at the gym, local seminars, concerts or local restaurants, you meet the nicest and most interesting people in La Jolla. I love my life in our little Village by the Sea.

What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

La Jolla is a great place as it is within walking distance to so many things. There is not much that I would change. However, I love to play and swim in the ocean, and if I could improve one thing by snapping my fingers, it would be making the water temperature 80 degrees year-round!

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

I would include leaders who would share their insights as to how they kept going against great odds: Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Clarence Darrow, Martin Luther King, Jr.

I know these icons must have had terrific senses of doing the right thing. I also believe they must have a great sense of humor and I’d like to experience that.

I would also include some of my favorite female actresses/comedians, Kristen Wiig and Sandra Bullock, and for me, my dad, Milton Day, all for an incredible evening!

Who/what inspires you?

I am inspired by humble, passionate people who consider the status quo just a place to start. When someone has the strength to right wrongs and to fix problems in our society that inspires me and gives me the added passion to address issues I believe in. As a lawyer, I know the law evolves and we as citizens need to prod and push to ensure justice and equality for all.

What are your five favorite movies?

These are “The Notebook,” “Milk,” “The Candidate,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” and “12 Angry Men.”

What is it that you most dislike?

I dislike prejudice and pretentiousness.

What is your most-prized possession?

My most-prized possession is my friends and family who never cease to amaze me with their love, caring friendship and talents. However, I must add my law degree, which has given me the ability to help so many — literally thousands of children — which is an amazing privilege.

What do you do for fun?

I love nature and taking in as much of it as I can each day, including hiking, tennis and skiing. When the sun goes down let the games begin! I love card games, board games and laughing with friends and family.

What is your motto?

A beautiful philosophy of life is “The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose,” by Robert Byme.

What would be your dream vacation?

My dream vacation is an African safari! Spending time in a completely different environment that is graceful, magical, authentic and diverse in culture, with an endless variety of exotic animals living in their inherited homeland.