Creating Lasting Change With Aubrie Dodge
Meet Aubrie Dodge
Helping others is at the core of Aubrie's pursuits. After obtaining a Masters Degree from Hunter College, she now works as a Clinical Social Worker in Southern California continuing to help create better lives for those around her. Read her take on the importance behind the work that she does and why she continues to choose to make an impact throughout the world.
Occupations, affiliations and projects.
Clinical Social Worker, Mental Health Advocate, Social Justice Promoter.
“People Who Do” focuses on those who excel at moving forward throughout their passions in life, why is it important to you to “do”?
For me, “doing” is all about making every effort to create positive and lasting change. Whether that’s in another person’s life or my own, I’ve made change toward wellbeing part of my personal and professional narrative. In terms of my career in social work, helping those in need stems from a staunch belief that human beings are innately good, and that we only want what is best for ourselves and for the community of people surrounding us. Protecting, encouraging, and promoting the worth and dignity of every person is at the forefront of my work. Two years of service with AmeriCorps and countless hours spent volunteering at local food banks, homeless shelters, community centers and various nonprofit organizations have all reinforced the utter importance of values consecrated into action to encourage wellbeing and enhance quality of life. My work has taught me that the power of human relationships can be truly transformative. I have been incredibly fortunate to meet so many wonderful people on my journey so far. “Doing” is just one small part of a much bigger parallel process of growth and discovery.
To date, what accomplishments (of any kind) are you most proud of?
Traveling, starting my MSW, and maintaining relationships with the many amazing people in my life.
#1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments
"If you fear it a little, it’s probably good for you." The coolest stuff we do usually involves taking some kind of risk.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?
Have trust in the process. You can only know the next right move, so there’s no point in sweating the big picture.
What’s your favorite lesson you’ve ever learned, ever?
I had an amazing supervisor for my first year of Field Practicum. Whenever I sought guidance from her regarding dilemmas I was experiencing both personally and professionally, as a beginning social worker, she would remind me of this: There are two kinds of mistakes that we can make in life, those of the head and those of the heart. As long as you don’t make mistakes of the heart, you’ll be fine.
What is one dream project you would love to put into action?
I’ve always wanted to open an environmentally and socially responsible coffee shop. I wish I could say more about this, but I’m still working on the business plan.
What's your go-to song to put you in a better mood?
Oh boy…so many. Right now it’s Chet Faker – “1998”. Some other mood-changers are Jay-Z – “I Just Wanna Love U”, Bob Marley – “Could You Be Loved”, Fugees – “Killing Me Softly”, Rage Against the Machine – “Killing in the Name” and Don McLean – “American Pie” because my family has a strange tradition of singing it (off-key) together every summer on the beach.
You recently returned from a Habitat for Humanity trip in Costa Rica. Tell me more about that! What was your favorite part?
I’ll be honest, this question feels nearly impossible to answer. Myself and 13 other volunteers from around the US set out to complete phase 1 of a Habitat Global Village home. The group (who hadn’t met until we landed in Costa Rica) worked so well together that we were 1.5 days ahead of the build schedule. This allowed for plenty of time to immerse ourselves in the culture and cultivate more meaningful relationships with the partner family and community there. Suffice it to say that this trip was truly incredible – from the beauty of the country to the wonderful people I was fortunate enough to meet along the way, my heart is filled with such gratitude for having experienced the entire thing.
Top 5 people you would invite to a dinner party.
My Nana, Will Ferrell, Martin Luther King, Jr, Lena Dunham, Pope Francis.
3 words you want to be remembered by.
Live for Each Other ("for" is barely a word, right?)
By "do-ing", you create your own unique legacy. How do you want your legacy to look/be remembered?
I always struggle with the gravity of this question. It came up a lot in my years with AmeriCorps and persists now, in graduate school and in other personal endeavors. What do we want to leave behind? How do we want to be remembered? What will our legacy be? At this point, I just want to be remembered for making an effort. In a world where injustices such as poverty, inequality, and oppression seem to be inevitable, so many of us end up accepting this as reality instead of fighting for what we know could be better. We have a thing in social work school where we celebrate even the smallest of victories. If we set out to change the world, we’ll all be highly disappointed by the results. But, if we stop to recognize and appreciate the progress that can be made, that’s at least a step in the right direction. I guess I want to be remembered for trying to take many small steps in the right direction.