BEST is proud to announce Anjilee Dodge, MSW as the newest member of the BEST Governance Board. Anjilee is the Workforce Development Coordinator at YouthCare Seattle and a partner with BEST on our Safe Jobs program.
Anjilee was drawn to social work, in part, because she experienced poverty and homelessness as a child. It wasn’t easy for Anjilee to navigate her way through what she describes as “systematic oppression,” the oppression that arises from larger social and economic structures. Thankfully, she found a path for herself. In high school, she threw herself into every extra-curricular activity she could. She held several after-school jobs and did Running Start, a program that allows high school students to earn college credits. She worked hard to go to college and eventually earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Washington. She’s even been published in the Seattle Journal for Social Science for her article “His Feminist Façade: The Neoliberal Co-option of the Feminist Movement.” Anjilee’s favorite hobbies are reading feminist theory and science fiction novels and, of course, spending time with her son Ashton.
Joining the BEST Board is a way Anjilee feels she can help change societal norms. “I feel like BEST’s mission addresses the root of problem,” she states. “Everyone should have the opportunity to pursue their goals unhindered by societal disadvantage and I am committed to working toward structural social change.” Perhaps this is why Anjilee is so passionate about BEST’s Safe Jobs program. Anjilee appreciates that the Safe Jobs program will soon provide “tangible” action items for businesses who want to employ survivors and at-risk persons. In her work, she sees that there is a gap in employment services for youth who are ready and able to work. But, these youth just don’t have the same connections that a middle-class young person or a college graduate might have. They may also face significant barriers in resources necessary for successful employment (stable housing, clothing, sobriety, etc.). Helping bridge these barriers and creating opportunities within multiple industries for these youth is a priority for Anjilee.
Welcome to the team Anjilee! We’re honored to have you and so thankful for your commitment to our mission.