Reverend Gena Camille Jefferson, LCSW, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Just As I Am Youth Empowerment
After serving 22 years in the NYC Public School system as a Teacher for youth with special needs and Social Worker/District Academic Interventions Specialist, Gena founded the non-profit, “JAIA: Just As I Am Youth Empowerment'' in 2014. JAIA is a personal and spiritual development leadership program for teens and young adults ages 16-24. JAIA’s mission is to co-create with youth to build healthier communities by promoting mindfulness, mental health literacy, and moral/ethical development and leadership.
At the 2017, Night Of Excellence, Gena was awarded the Lydia Martinez Award from the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault for outstanding service and collaboration in the field of violence prevention. Gena has served as Adjunct Faculty/Lecturer and Field Instructor at Rutgers University, Columbia University and Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work. Rev. Gena has Master Degrees in Special Education, Educational Administration and Social Work from varied institutions. She was ordained by the Interfaith Council of New York, and holds a Certification in Spiritual Life Coaching Training from Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development. Gena serves the adult community with her wife as co-owners of Overture Wellness: “Begin With Purpose”, a spiritual life coaching, healing and wellness practice serving individuals, couples, and organizations. The couple also were co-creators of Grace Drums, a women's percussion and vocals ensemble from 2010-2018. Gena is passionate about creating environments where people feel safe, empowered and free to express their individuality, and to live their very best life!