James Keeley / Santa Cruz, CA
James is a service-connected veteran and has a 4.0 GPA at SJSU, earning his degree in Therapeutic Recreation while becoming certified in nutrition education and trauma-sensitive yoga. As a Case Manager for the Veterans Resource Center, James was instrumental in working with the homeless veterans population of Santa Cruz, CA to overcome addiction; alleviate symptoms of mental illness; and to provide insight and support by bridging inter-agency collaborations through community and federal resources that help them stabilize their lives.
James believes that "Play is Medicine" and is passionate about creating awareness and opportunities for veterans to approach their healing holistically, while experiencing the therapeutic benefits of recreation. His vision is to create a Recreation Therapy Center that will facilitate a diversity of programs helping veterans cultivate and nurture pathways that help them live harmoniously within themselves, towards others and with the environments in which they find themselves in.
James hopes that his own healing and personal transformation from his struggle with substance abuse, chronic homelessness and associated traumas will provide insight, encouragement and eventually empowerment for other veterans that find themselves in similar situations or in need of support.