17-year old creates COVID-19 resources site for those in need

As COVID-19 has swept across the country and put many people’s lives to a grinding halt, there are those out there who have looked for ways to make their mark on the pandemic. 

But many of those people are also adults, blessed with their own autonomy and control over their own lives. It is a bit different when you are a kid, the return to school looming and a future uncertain admits the daily storm the pandemic has brought

But Jay Doshi is no ordinary kid. After his freshman year of high school, he was accepted into the early access program at Cal State Los Angeles, in which he spent two years before transferring to Cornell to finish his Bachelor’s.

Despite such an impressive accomplishment, there might be something that Doshi has done that he is even more proud of: The California Social Resource Database at caliresources.org.

“The California Social Resource Database is, essentially, an online collection of resources filled with employment services, educational opportunities, health services, financial aid resources, and other things for those disproportionately affected by COVID-19,” Doshi told the News.

The resources are separated by county, and includes as much pertinent information as possible, including phone numbers, websites, emails, addresses, and a general description of what makes that particular resource unique.

Doshi, who is pursuing a career as a physician, said he came up with the idea for this resource site back in March. While the idea was brewing in his head for some time, it was his uncle coming down with the illness that sparked Doshi to put this site together

While there was a concrete idea in place, the plan to get there was not nearly as solid at the beginning, Doshi admits.

“For the first couple of weeks, we were struggling [to define] exactly what resources we were going to gather.”

Doshi did have some help initially from the two people currently on the California Social Resource Database Board of Directors: his brother Rushabh Doshi, who is currently studying for his MPH at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Richa Shah, who is currently a sophomore at Scripps College

“Together, we built upon it to make it solid for interns to join and help develop it into where we are at right now,” Doshi recalled.

Doshi currently manages a team of 30 interns, all at the college or high school level, and they have put together this well of resources and information over the course of four months.  

While Doshi was originally going to focus primarily on Los Angeles County, the reception to the project and the expansion that came with it.

“When we started get interns who were really interested in our project and who really wanted to help out in the community in anyway as virtual learning came upon us and all these high school and college students had nothing going on besides classes,” Doshi explained  

Providers also have an option on the site to add their names to the database, allowing for even more accessibility.

Doshi believes that the foundation of the database has been set, but there is still an internal goal of two organizations added per month, and hopes to keep the database going beyond COVID.

“We do have a culmination of resources. We have both COVID specific resources and some that are not as COVID specific. They are just regular tasks that could be helpful for people, so we do plan on continuing after the pandemic,” Doshi said.

“I know we all have different aspirations, but we all have one similar goal: to help out in the community and make an impact. With communities struggling with everything that is going on, this is just one small way that we can help out together.”