A Brooklyn Park resident is doing their part in service and being a shining light in these challenging times. Aja King is a Human Rights Commissioner for Brooklyn Park. Aja has a Doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. During a typical day right now, you can catch Aja tending to her own two children’s schooling while also fielding phone consultations for work. Aja is currently dealing with the impact of the Coronavirus while also dealing with the impacts of the shelter in place order. Aja’s workload has increased significantly. There are many days where Aja is on the phone constantly within her workday, from 9am -5pm, working with clients. While only able to squeeze in a couple of minutes to check on her two sons: Austin, 9, and Chris, 14.
King stated the following below when interviewed by the Star Tribune “I’m trying to make sure they still do all the [school] work but also give me space to do my job,” she said. “My older son was OK with it. He is more independent. But at first, my 9-year-old was distraught. There was a lot of frustration, and he missed his friends.”
King gave up her home office to one of her sons, so he could focus on his online lessons. The other son sets up in the dining room.
“That left me with the bedroom,” she said. “But it’s OK. I have a candle burning. It’s nice in here.”
While the week may get stressful, Aja has made it a priority that family time still is had. “Weekends we spend taking walks, watching movies, painting,” she said. “When you stop being in motion, you lose your motivation.”
Aja’s main piece of advice to people in this time — is to create a schedule and then do your best to stick to it. As hard as it may be it is extremely important to maintain a routine (her sons have kept up their karate classes via Zoom). But also keep in mind, it is not exactly business as usual in these times, it is okay to be gentle with yourself even if things were not what you hoped for.
“Be kind to yourself,” she said. “Don’t feel bad because you missed the mark you set for yourself. Right now, we need to concentrate on just getting through this.”
*All narrative in quotations were captured by Jeff Strickler of the Star Tribune.