XAHEJ “XI” BAJIPURA 

Xahej discovered her passion for human rights at an early age when she experienced unequal treatment due to her gender, skin color, family’s roots, and so on. Even as a child, she knew it was wrong and spoke out despite when others would ridicule and silence her. Her life’s purpose is to show and heal children by providing a platform for their voices to be heard.

San Francisco-native, Xahej has over 15 years of experience in CHILDREN’S RIGHTS and is passionate about making ALL CHILDREN EQUAL. Around the globe, Xahej has been outreaching and advocating for the most vulnerable youth and populations through her community social work, teaching, and journalistic avenues. She has counseled/taught over 1,000 youth in Title 1 schools, support groups, after-school enrichment programs, juvenile jails, residential therapeutic facilities, non-profits and on the streets. Learn more about her humanitarian and professional experiences here.

I see myself in others and see others in myself as if I am looking in the mirror. I believe all humans are connected to one another in ways that cannot meet the naked eye but can be felt with an open heart. ~ Xahej

JAMES DOHERTY 

Growing up, James remembers feeling at times like he didn’t belong or fit in. This early experience impacted him, and today he wishes for every child to feel a sense of belonging and to know a place in community.

Over the years, his volunteer experience has connected him to the spectrum of human being – people of all colors, faiths and orientations through organizations such as Boys and Girls Club, Big Brother Big Sister, and Food Not Bombs, among others. He found his calling as a yoga instructor in the countryside of the Guatemalan highlands and came to know yoga as a powerful antidote to the divisive forces that keep us from one another. His love of Guatemala, the Mayan peoples, and the larger Latino community inspired him to connect through yoga outreach to the Hispanic community in San Francisco, which is how he met Show and Heal founder Xahej Bajipura.

His hope for Show and Heal is to offer a safe space and a spotlight to all those beautiful children who feel left out or marginalized. He is inspired by the brave kids who share their stories with Show and Heal and wants them to know that here they are safe, loved and appreciated. May all beings everywhere be peaceful, happy and free.

James holds a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, and is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Hawai’i. He specializes in molecular biology and is an epigenetics researcher at the John A. Burns School of Medicine through the Department of Native Hawaiian Health.

Dakota Howell, Social Media and Video Advisor

Canadian-born Dakota Howell has over 11 years of experience in video content creation, from producing, directing, and editing. He has created thousands of YouTube videos and has run a successful YouTube channel with over 12 million subscribers.

Sona Shornden, Mental Health Advisor for Self-Care 101
Forced into early-retirement by disability, 9/11-survivor Sona Shornden volunteers, helping those less fortunate and advocating for persons with disabilities.
She is a walking example of thriving through adversity and taking proactive responsibility for one’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Educated at NYU and Nova Southeastern University, her specialties are: counseling, public speaking, meditation workshops, stress management, CBT, and holistic practices.
She is driven to equip the underprivileged with tools they can use to thrive in life, no matter the circumstances.
“A cloud does not put out the sun.” ~ A quote of strength Sona lives by
Trevor Gates, Exceptionally-Abled Advisor

Trevor Gates, 25, is from Western North Carolina. He is a psychology major at Western Carolina University. His goal is to become a therapist. He is a person in long-term recovery from severe mental illness (depression, ADHD, and anxiety). Trevor advocates for the  Exceptionally-Abled community with physical, mental, emotional, and intellectual limitations.

He is a differently-abled person living with a severe vision impairment (cane-dependent). He’s a public speaker and has spoken about a range of topics including ableism, mental health, recovery, and accessibility. 

He is drawn to Show and Heal because of their commitment to raising the voices of a marginalized groups. Like Show and Heal he wants to amplify the voices of people of all identities that often go unheard.

Annie Wormus, Web Developer

Annie has always had a heart for people who feel as if they don’t fit in. Being born in Germany she moved to South Florida in 2008 and experienced not only a change of countries, but also a change of culture. Since then Annie has participated in many volunteer activities, and school clubs which ensure that everyone gets the same opportunities regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or economic status.

Currently a first generation college student at the University of Central Florida studying computer science, Annie met Xahej through volunteering at a food bank organization. After hearing about Show and Heal Annie felt compelled to be involved in making sure each and every living person feels safe, loved, and appreciated. 

Zachary Astree, Web Developer

Zachary studies Computer Engineering at Florida Atlantic University and is expected to graduate late 2021. Zach is a long time computer enthusiast and hobbyist, creating websites for friends and family in his free time and assisting. Zachary was interested in volunteering for Show and Heal because he believes that equality, justice, and fairness are all essential qualities of a loving community and to lead to a better society we need to find ways for people to connect and relate to each other. Zach assists us in order to create a better world, to educate people who may be unaware or isolated to the issues people face all across the world. 

Trevor Gates, Exceptionally-Abled Advisor

Trevor Gates, 25, is from Western North Carolina. He is a psychology major at Western Carolina University. His goal is to become a therapist. He is a person in long-term recovery from severe mental illness (depression, ADHD, and anxiety). Trevor advocates for the  Exceptionally-Abled community with physical, mental, emotional, and intellectual limitations.

He is a differently-abled person living with a severe vision impairment (cane-dependent). He’s a public speaker and has spoken about a range of topics including ableism, mental health, recovery, and accessibility. 

He is drawn to Show and Heal because of their commitment to raising the voices of a marginalized groups. Like Show and Heal he wants to amplify the voices of people of all identities that often go unheard.