Anjalie Graham, the fifth of six children, was born and raised in a small community in rural Montana where everyone knew each other. Her family always emphasized the importance of recognizing one’s role in the world and the social responsibility inherent in that role. She moved to Minnesota with her family when she was sixteen years old and it was in her new home that she truly began to understand the variety of possibilities the world had to offer for her own life. For instance, while in Minnesota, fate brought Anjalie together with a Tanzanian nun, with whose family she would later live in Tanzania.
Anjalie earned her undergraduate degree at Carroll College in Helena, Montana. She majored in Peace and Justice Studies, a major she designed herself by combining classes in Theology, Political Science, Communications, and Sociology. In addition to taking time off school to work as a nanny, she spent a summer in Mexico living and working at a shelter for women and children. The volunteers lived in community with the guests at the shelter, serving as liaisons for the women and managing the daily activities of the community.
Shortly after graduation, Anjalie ventured to Songea, Tanzania. While working at St. Teresa’s Orphan Center, she lived with a local family. The center provided sponsors, after-school classes, and a variety of other supports the orphans needed. Anjalie played a key role in creating a program to purchase computers for the center. When the computers arrived, she taught computer skills to the students, establishing the first program of its kind in the region if not the country. Her interest in health care began to grow while in Tanzania, prompting her to volunteer at a local dispensary in addition to working at the center. At the dispensary she acted as a nurse’s aide and receptionist and assisted in filling orders at the small pharmacy. In her role she helped treat everything from malaria cases arriving in the middle of the night to everyday farm injuries.
The ten months in Tanzania confirmed Anjalie’s desire to become a nurse and she returned to the United States to begin pursuing the prerequisites she would need for nursing school. While enrolled in the necessary classes, Anjalie worked for The University of Montana MultiCultural Alliance. In this position she helped to plan and execute various events designed to bring the Missoula, Montana community together to explore issues of diversity.
Anjalie is excited about the opportunities that Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing offers and especially about the emphasis Emory places on social responsibility. She has sought opportunities not only to work with underserved populations, but also to live among them, and she plans to do so in her career as well.
Whether in Mexico, Tanzania, or at home in Montana, Anjalie has enjoyed working with children. She is looking forward to continuing to work with them as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.