Growing up in a small family from Norman, Okla., Jaja Chen learned the importance of loving people at an early age.
"When I was little, I remember my mom doing a lot of visits to the hospital for church members, so we would bring food for them after they delivered babies or whatever it was," Jaja said.
Her attraction to the spiritual aspects of Baylor greatly influenced her desire to pursue an education here.
Originally, Jaja planned to pursue a degree in psychology but, shortly after arrival, realized there was something missing.
"I was originally interested in the psychology program, but then eventually, when I learned about social work, and the Baylor School of Social Work, I realized that it would fit my interests in social justice much more than psychology and also my interest in counseling," Jaja said.
As a senior, Jaja has been a part of the social work program for three years and has been able to see the many qualities that set the Baylor School of Social Work apart from others.
"Not only is it a smaller program, but it is a close-knit community. Baylor also adds on the faith and practice component of social work. In our classes, we address the issue of how you deal with religion and spirituality with the clients you deal with," Jaja said.
Aside from the influence of Jaja’s mother on her pursuit of a career based on loving people, Jaja’s high school counselor also made a great impact on her career path.
"I learned so much about how to care for the people around me, from her. She helped many of my friends who struggled with mental health issues. Seeing her in their lives really inspired me," Jaja said.
After graduation in May, Jaja plans to continue her education in the MSW/MDiv program through the School of Social Work and Truett Seminary.
Article and photograph by Marketing Intern Margaret Riggins