Araya began his career in education as a school-based therapist and school counselor, in Philadelphia. Educating students in public schools amidst pervasive community violence and structural poverty, his work focused on helping youth on the fast track of the school-to-prison pipeline. Aside from counseling students, this work involved designing and facilitating restorative justice curricula and trauma-informed violence prevention programs.
Through this experience of bridging counseling with education justice, Jeff developed a passion for working in the nation’s most underserved schools, and with the most disempowered and vulnerable students. He believes that when committed educators serve in these environments, schools can offer marginalized students empowering possibilities to invest in their futures, in unprecedented ways.
Today, Araya consults with the nation’s most challenged schools, teaching students about mental health, restorative justice, and violence prevention.