Najja Orr

Bucks County Area Agency on Aging
Doylestown, PA

What drew you to the field of aging or gerontology?
I became more interested in the field of aging when my grandmother became sick several years ago, and despite my experience and training in social services, I realized how little prepared I was to handle the daily issues that older adults face. I wanted to become better prepared to assist not only my loved ones, but all seniors in need.

What is your specialty or area of interest?
My commitment as the Director of the Bucks County Area Agency on Aging is to provide comprehensive services that assist older adults and caregivers to make informed decisions regarding home- and community-based services, healthcare and long-term care options, maintaining active and healthy lifestyles, and remaining free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

You’re a 2010 graduate of ASA’s New Ventures in Leadership (NVL) program and an excellent example of how organizations can benefit from NVL. How did the NVL Program help you with your career?
Outside of gaining life-long friends in my mentors and fellow alumni from the class of ’09–’10, I believe that NVL is a rite of passage that provides the most comprehensive learning experience I’ve been exposed to in my professional career. The blended curriculum of the program enhanced my leadership skills and pushed me out of my comfort zone to further my personal and professional growth. NVL allowed me to consider greater possibilities regarding my career path and contributed to my two promotions since graduation.

What do you enjoy the most about your work?
I most enjoy giving back to older adults who have paved the way for me to be where I am today. As the demand for home- and community-based services continues to grow, we should be the catalyst for communities to allow people to age well, remain healthy, and receive the assistance necessary to keep them safe. Click to learn more about volunteer opportunities.