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About Us

Jeena, derived from the Hindi word meaning "To Live," stands as a beacon of hope in California, USA. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we are dedicated to empowering neurodivergent individuals and fostering a supportive community among their families.

At Jeena, we proudly serve 800 families, the majority hailing from the rich tapestry of the Indian subcontinent. Our activities, meticulously crafted and passionately facilitated, aim to nurture and support each individual's unique journey. 

Led by parents, volunteers, and professionals, our workshops and support groups provide invaluable resources and guidance for families navigating the complexities of neurodiversity. Through group sessions, we cultivate hobbies, pre-vocational skills, and social competencies, fostering a sense of belonging and purpose.

Beyond our regular sessions, Jeena's calendar is adorned with vibrant one-day events, from joyous birthday celebrations to tranquil picnics and exhilarating overnight camps. Each gathering, including our annual extravaganza, Jeena Yahaan, celebrates the resilience and talents of our community.

Embracing innovation, Jeena pioneers the 6 x 6 x 6 Model, a streamlined approach to activity organization. By simply reaching out via email to, families propose activities that resonate with their needs and interests. With the support of at least five additional families, our events come to life, free from hierarchies and bureaucracy.In the heart of Jeena lies a commitment to unity, empowerment, and unwavering support. Together, we embark on a journey where every step is guided by compassion and understanding. Welcome to Jeena, where every individual's journey is embraced, cherished, and celebrated.

Our Programs

Jeena is currently focusing on the below projects in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.

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Social Skill Development

Evidence based practice indicates, an individual is likely to develop constructive relationships when there is a systematic and supportive exposure to various activities. Based on this philosophy, Jeena offers activities such as weekly dance and yoga classes, classical music lessons, vocational art classes, camp and field trips.

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Outreach and Resources

Research has shown that the quality of parent-child relationship improves when parents meet their information and emotional needs. Online forums, regular peer group meetings and informative workshops provide the emotional and informational support for parents and caregivers.

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Intervention Support

Jeena understands the value of generalizing skills and offers support to families at home in form of private tuition to children whose parents are monolingual.

Our Story

The organization is a legacy of the founders’ daughter, Gina. After Gina died, a few days shy of 16 months old, Rajni found she was not alone in her feelings of helplessness, guilt, loneliness and a myriad of emotions. There were other families, living in the Bay Area, of South-Asian origin, who also felt isolated and confused. These families struggled with navigating the complex insurance benefits, State and County resources and educational services for their children. Theirs was a life unlike any typical immigrant; these families did not have a “village” to support their child’s needs or their own emotional wellbeing.

Jeena was formally formed and became the first non-profit organization in CA for families of South-Asian origin in 2000. The very first program was a three days/week playgroup for one month in August 1999. Supported by a speech therapist and an occupational therapist, seven children with a range of developmental disabilities and age range of 4yr to 7yrs met in a clinic while their parents exchanged information about services and resources, sitting outside the clinic or in a coffee shop a few feet away from the clinic. In that one month, strong connections were being formed and friendships were being forged.

By the end of the first year, Jeena had grown the parent support network from 7 to 50 families. We met in parks and local libraries. We created opportunities for our children to engage socially by organizing field trips to swimming pools, movie theaters and train rides to name a few. We organized family overnight summer camp and invited specialist for workshops addressing specific needs of our members.

By 2003, Jeena had a sprawling center in Milpitas, CA. Jeena members often described the center as “home away from home”. Members organized multiple classes for the children, arranged workshops for parents and offered intervention support for children while families navigated the labyrinth of agencies each with their own eligibility criteria and bureaucracy.

In May 2012, the Jeena Southern California chapter was established. To this day, the Jeena SoCal chapter continues to grow, with families meeting once a month for activities and providing mutual support and opportunities for children for social interaction.

By 2018, Jeena’s membership rose to approximately 750 and a well established chapter in Southern CA. Over the years, our annual event Jeena Yahaan has provided a platform for our children to showcase their talent, changing the conversation to offering opportunities with support and compassion.

Although the Jeena board made the hard decision of closing the Center due to the pandemic in 2020, Jeena’s tradition of organizing activities for our children and offering information and emotional support continues online and in-person in the community.

Board of Directors

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