Jaya Vanga, a student in the Master's in Counseling Psychology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, has demonstrated devote dedication to service and community, and her commitment to continuously working to understand the root causes of social problems. In addition to her responsibilities as a student, Jaya volunteers as White Crane Wellness Center, an organization that is dedicated to promoting wellness within Chicago and the Greater Cook County area's geriatric population. At White Crane Jaya has taken on administrative tasks as well as led several evidence-based health programs for older adults living in suburban cook county. In the future, Jaya aspires to use her education as a clinician to focus on marriage and family counseling.
While growing up, I first became involved in addressing issues of domestic violence by volunteering every Monday and Friday with my aunt at a safe haven agency she created for women in my city who were being physically, mentally and/or sexually abused by their husband and their families. As I got more involved with the agency I began to develop a better understanding of how if not addressed domestic violence can easily become a taboo subject that is often overlooked as a serious issue, leading to the false perception that domestic violence is not abuse by the society or perpetrators but rather the fault of women who are not able to fulfill the duties of a wife or a mother. Along with my aunt I facilitated various presentations at colleges, schools, and hospitals to try to spread awareness of domestic abuse to students and parents. Now, whenever I go to India or whenever I talk to my aunt, I share articles and engage in dialogue various ways in which we can educate people about domestic violence. Currently I am volunteering at White Crane Wellness Center where I work as an office administrator managing databases. I also facilitate evidence based health programs centered around sustaining wellness and independence for at risk older adults living in Cook county.