"My interest in the M.S. Swaminathan Foundation stems from the vision of humanist and scientist Professor Swaminathan himself. His ideas and projects appeal to me greatly because by empowering people they are all aimed at the elimination of poverty. Swaminathan's focus has the potential to bring about real, sustained growth in South Asia," said Kylie Schuyler.

This foundation was not the first cause to captivate Schuyler's active support. From an early age, she learned from her mother the importance of giving to others. Her parents, of German descent, grew up in a small farming community in Nebraska.

She studied economies at college in California. "My father was a corporate businessman in the lumber industry," she said. "I had aspirations to go into corporate business as he had done. He traveled the world, and brought home a love of all things Japanese. It seemed like fate that I would some day live here."