Vija was born and raised in a small suburb of Chicago. Growing up, Vija spent her summers attending a youth camp in Michigan and with her family on camping road trips. Vija returned to the youth camp as a counselor for many summers and continues to find ways to be involved today.
Vija earned her BA in Anthropology and Sociology from Swarthmore College in 2014, where she also enjoyed studying philosophy, photography, and art. Throughout her college years Vija often sought out adventures through Swarthmore’s outdoors club and spent a semester abroad in Uganda. After graduating, Vija remained in Philadelphia for a few years, first working at a non-profit through AmeriCorps and later as a nanny for a family with special needs kids.
Realizing she wanted more experience in the outdoors, Vija enrolled in a semester-long course in Alaska through the National Outdoor Leadership School. After completing her NOLS course during the summer of 2016, Vija searched for ways to combine her love for the outdoors and her experience with adolescents and found wilderness therapy. She finds this work to be both challenging and fulfilling.
When she’s not working you might find Vija engrossed in any number of artistic and creative projects, playing ultimate frisbee, or tending to her garden.