Together with her parents, Anja Salijević (Ališić) immigrated to PEI as a refugee. After high school, she completed her education in the United States, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion and Education. She worked in the States within the non-profit world for several years, mostly in fundraising, until 2014 when she and her husband decided to move back to the island where Anja had grown up.
When Anja moved back to PEI she approached PEI ANC for assistance. Her Employment Counsellor, Dandan Wang, worked with her to first examine her credentials and build her resume. Anja says, “Dandan is a wonderful counsellor. She never gives up. She looked for possible opportunities for me, and suggested related careers as well.”
Anja’s credentials did not allow her to work in her field in Canada due to the occupation regulations. Dandan helped Anja assess her skills and develop a job search plan. Part of that plan included volunteering—a choice which led Anja to help out at several health fairs, illustrating her knowledge and excellent people skills to staff at the Canadian Cancer Society.
Dandan suggested a Career Pathways Program which landed Anja a five-month term of work with the Canadian Cancer Society, PEI Division as a health promotion assistant. Anja was able finally to show her aptitude for work in health promotion. She has been hired for a second contract at the Cancer Society and her supervisor, Director of Community Programs, Holly Smith, says, “Anja is a pleasure to work with. She works in Support Services and Volunteer Management and she is fantastic at her job. She also chips in on other work as needed. She is a true team worker and her education, training, and personality, make her a real fit here.”
Anja is so pleased to be utilizing her skills in health promotion and program coordination. She says, “So many people believed in me. I am so grateful to have found a job in my field contributing to this important local health organization.”