A Foundation In Family - Dr. Jacqueline Stump named 2022 Woman to Watch
Dr. Jacqueline Stump comes from a close-knit family. Seriously.
“Growing up,” she says, “we ate together every night—not even just my immediate family, I’m talking about the whole extended aunts and uncles.”
For Jacqueline’s family, that meant the dinner table was pretty big—her mother is one of seven. Jacqueline’s grandparents immigrated from Lebanon with “nothing.”
They opened a grocery store, and—with no family in the area—became strongly connected to and rooted in the Charleston community. Jacqueline says they instilled in their children the importance of bettering the community in which they lived.
“Charleston is a town of what you make it,” she says. “In order for you to get the most out of what Charleston and the surrounding areas can provide for you, you have to get involved with the community and give back.”
Jacqueline does just that in her role as one of the lead chairwomen for the “Girls Night Out” event benefitting the YWCA Resolve Family Abuse Program, through her involvement with The Clay Center for the Arts & Science as a board member, and in her dentistry practice at Howard & Howard Dental, a Charleston dentist’s office founded by her uncles.
For Jacqueline, the decision to come home after completing her undergraduate studies in biology and chemistry at The University of Miami, in Coral Gables, Florida and her Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the West Virginia University School of Dentistry was an easy one.
Here, she had the foundation of her family and the guidance of her uncles, who demonstrated their belief in treating patients like family by being not only their dental providers, but also their friends and confidants. As she shadowed them in the dentist office, Jacqueline saw how changing someone’s smile can dramatically improve their overall health and wellbeing.
“I saw as a young child that dentistry was an opportunity and a field where I could merge both things that I love to do,” Jacqueline says, “my artistic, creative side with my love for science.”
Jacqueline’s involvement with The Clay Center is also inspired by that love for art and science, as well as her belief in the importance of education, which she says is a value that has been passed down through generations of her family, starting with her grandmother.
“The one thing she instilled in all her children is that education is key, and it’s one of the most important things that anybody can do for themselves,” Jacqueline says.
She embraces that strong sense of purpose, family, and community in everything she does. In fact, it’s what drew her to getting involved with Girls Night Out. The first time she attended the event, she was “taken aback by the overwhelming sense of community and purpose.” She started asking questions, learning more about the impact of domestic violence, and ultimately became one of the lead chairwomen on the event committee.
Whether it’s by bettering someone’s health through her dentistry practice, planning an event to support domestic violence prevention, or fundraising for STEAM education, Jacqueline is paying forward the community support that embraced her grandparents when they settled in Charleston all those years ago.
“The sole reason for me being involved with the community and trying to work with these different organizations is so I can better the community in which we all live,” Jacqueline says. “I want it to be a great place.”