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Cerritos Resident Creates COVID-19 Resource Database for Californians

Jay Doshi created CaliResources, a social needs database for COVID-19 at caliresources.org.

BY TAMMYE MCDUFF

 Jay Doshi is 17 years old and headed to Cornell University as an incoming junior this fall. As a former student of Whitney High School in Cerritos, Jay applied to the Early Entrance Program at CalState LA, a program that allows gifted students as early as 11 years old to go to university and receive an accelerated college education, at the age of 14. Upon matriculating as one of the twenty students accepted into the program, Jay immediately became an active leader on campus. After deciding what major suited his interests, he applied to transfer to Cornell to study Global and Public Health. Doshi has now created CaliResources, a social needs resource database for individuals that have been affected by COVID-19.

“One of the things I realized early on in the pandemic,” said Doshi “was that in times of uncertainty, if people don’t have access to social needs, it will not only affect their physical health, but also affect their mental health.” As the situation in New York deteriorated, Doshi began to understand the depth of the crisis. He wondered what homeless individuals did when shelters shut down. He was concerned about how children were taken care of, as their parents worked at the front-lines to protect us.

His desire to help sparked CaliResources. As individuals and families were ravaged by the disruption of their normal routines, CaliResources: Social Needs Database for COVID-19 (caliresources.org) was created to help provide comprehensive information on food banks, community health clinics, emergency shelters, educational opportunities, financial and employment services, and much more.

Doshi says that he and his partners worked on this online resource database for everyone. Co-founder Richa Shah is a rising sophomore and aspiring medical doctor at Scripps College studying psychology, “One of my biggest priorities is to help vulnerable individuals who are in need of aid.” Health director Jaina Doshi is an incoming junior attending Cerritos High School. She is passionate about mental health and advocates for the safety of those around her. Together, these three young adults are working to provide accessible information on social resources to every county in California.

“I wanted to do my part in helping out, and along with my team, we identified many organizations that are offering incredible resources,” added Doshi, “As we continue to grow our database, with over 125 viewers daily for the past week, we are hopeful that we can help as many people as we can.” To date, CaliResources has launched seven resource databases for Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Orange County, San Diego County, Santa Clara County, Sacramento County, and Riverside County. The team hopes to complete a database for 13 more counties in California within the next few weeks.

 The creation of this database has been an incredible journey for these young leaders. “I would like to thank Richa and Jaina who have worked with me to bring CaliResources to its surface. I am eternally grateful for my family for their endless support: my parents, Dipti and Hemang, have raised me to understand that ‘nothing is impossible’; my brother, Rushabh, has always has challenged me and helped shape my morals; and my Dadu and Dadi taught me to always help others and make the world a better place.”

Doshi has published and contributed to numerous academic papers. After the completion of his freshman year, he spent his summer at Johns Hopkins Medicine performing gastric cancer and obesity research, where he studied structures of weight-loss techniques to aid the creation of innovative endoscopic technologies for lower income populations. He has been a research assistant in a cardiology lab at Harbor UCLA Medical Center, where he works with plaque progression in patients of diverse backgrounds. He also founded BroadMedicine, a 501(c) non-profit organization that serves as a connection for high school students to shadow physicians and be engaged in the medical community. This program has grown to over 50 students and also holds an annual speaker symposium involving several medical professionals. 

At Cornell, Doshi plans to be heavily engaged in community service and student government and advocate for marginalized populations in the community. He hopes to become a physician and continue to help reduce the disparity in health and fight for those who don’t have a voice.

 

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