Gauthami Vemula is the Founder and Managing Partner of Color Me Safe, LLC, a family crisis consulting firm committed to protecting children and families of North Texas by offering guidance and solutions for child welfare and protection issues. Gauthami’s previous experience as a child abuse investigator and department manager at the Department of Child Protective Services made her realize that working with children and families was not just part of a job but more of a calling. She was one of only three investigators hand-picked from Dallas County for a special pilot program, the Skilled Response Team, that investigated more than 40 child abuse cases a month. She was also selected as one of the few in Texas to train new CPS Investigators. In addition to her work in the field, Gauthami was integral in co-authoring Dallas County’s policy and procedure handbook used by all CPS Investigators. She also helped to create a systematic method called ‘Tips, Tools, and Tactics,’ specifically utilized by newly trained CPS Investigators. After a decade of working within the system and becoming aware of its shortcomings, Gauthami invested her knowledge and expertise in founding Color Me Safe with the intention of bridging a connection between the families of North Texas and the CPS System. Now days, as a Child Welfare Consultant and activist, she passionately works towards raising awareness about child abuse/neglect and advocating for families going through child protection issues.
Gauthami is actively involved in the community, serving on the boards and advisory boards of Hope’s Door and Empowering Women As Leaders. Gauthami serves as a mentor for high school girls at the Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School. She is also the sponsorship secretary for HEAL, an international organization working to provide education and health care to children in poverty. Since 2002, Gauthami has been an active volunteer/teacher at Chinmaya Mission of DFW where she educates children and reinforces spiritual and cultural values. Gauthami also recently joined the Dallas Women’s Foundation XIX Society Steering Committee. Gauthami has a passion for music and loves to play and teach piano in her spare time. She recently completed a children’s book and awaits publication and is in the process of writing a new book. Gauthami also studies voice under opera singer/performer, Ronana Gales.
In her spare time, Gauthami enjoys participating in a wide array of activities from dancing to blogging. Gauthami is the author of Wheatish Complexion.com; a blog that puts a satirical spin on being a first generation, Indian American woman balancing two different cultures. As an individual guided by her compassion and optimism, she hopes and strives for a commitment where all children are safe, healthy and provided a fair opportunity for a bright future ahead. Gauthami is also the recipient of the Dallas Women’s Foundation 2014 Maura Helping Women Award, which recognizes exceptional leaders who have have/are pioneering the way to improve lives for women and girls.
As a panelist for the 2015 Groundbreakers Speak panel, Gauthami shared her personal story as a survivor of domestic violence, becoming one of the inspirations for Co-Founder/President Tammy Nguyen Lee to produce ATG’s latest social issue media project, Light of Day, which uncovers untold stories of domestic violence in the Asian community. Gauthami serves as an Advisor and is one of the survivors featured in the documentary. In 2016, she along with friend and ATG member, Renae Viratam, co-founded UGauGrrl, a brand of wearable inspiration t-shirts.
What does going Against The Grain mean to you? “Going Against The Grain” means to defy convention to make room for innovation and progress, to forge one’s own path, to scale new heights and expand the horizon of what it means to be human.”
Quote to Live By: “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”
Sign: Aquarius and Dragon
Passionate About: Family, friends, travel, learning about different cultures, and my DVD collection of “Charles In Charge”
Favorite Food: Whatever Mommy cooks and does not ask me to learn.
Can’t Live Without: My baby nephew, oxygen and water, in that order (wink wink).
Color Personality: True Blue