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Molly Ashodian

Molly Baird Ashodian joined the Center in late 2021 and serves as a Financial SELF Empowerment Coach for the Building Wealth and Health Network. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Molly has spent the last decade working for non profits, city government, and most recently, a healthcare workers' union, advocating for and supporting the working poor in accessing services and living financially empowered lives. She completed a BA at the University of Vermont in 2010. She has previously led trainings on effective communication, collective bargaining and political advocacy. In her spare time, Molly enjoys cooking, experimenting with new vegetarian recipes and going on walks in the Wissahickon with her dog, Baxter.

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Millie Bass

Millie Bass is a Financial S.E.L.F. Empowerment Coach for the Center's Building Wealth and Health Network. They joined the Center in fall 2022. Millie is a graduate of Columbia University’s masters of social work policy program where they conducted research with Columbia Justice Lab’s Probation and Parole Reform Project. Their research focused on centering impacted voices in solution building, harm reduction and community investment rather than current systems of divestment and punishment. Prior to Columbia, Millie was an AmeriCorps VISTA in their hometown of Winston Salem, NC, with the Kids Cooking Coalition. Millie’s social work experience has balanced between trauma-informed and anti-oppressive macro level research and direct practice. In their direct practice, they have conducted home health visits in rural Appalachia and taught kids' nutrition and healthy habits that are both accessible and attainable. They are a member of Hearts on a Wire, a grassroots prison advocacy organization working to address the needs of transgender folks in Pennsylvania prisons. Millie’s passion is to see a world full of choice, equity and joy. They are a Capricorn and enjoy embroidery, learning, dreaming, reading and spending time outside.

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Emily Brown Weida

Emily Brown Weida, MSW, DrPH is a Research Associate for the Building Wealth and Health Network. She graduated with her DrPH in Health Management and Policy from the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health in 2022. Her dissertation was titled "Impact of Trauma-Informed Programming on Financial Well-being and Multidimensional Resilience." She received her master's degree in clinical social work from Virginia Commonwealth University and her bachelor's degree in Psychology from the College of William and Mary.

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Mariana Chilton

Mariana Chilton, PhD, MPH, is a Professor of Health Management and Policy, at Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. She founded the Center for Hunger-Free Communities and Witnesses to Hunger, a movement to increase women's participation in the national dialogue on hunger and poverty. She is principal investigator of the Building Wealth and Heath Network, designed to incentivize entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. For 15 years, she was a co-principal investigator in the Children’s HealthWatch. Her research addresses trauma, food insecurity and the advancement of human rights. She served as co-chair of the Bi-partisan National Commission on Hunger, meant to advise Congress and the United States Department of Agriculture on how to end hunger in America. She has testified before the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives and has served as an advisor to Sesame Street and to the Institute of Medicine.

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Alie Huxta

Alie Huxta, MSS, is the Associate Director, Partnerships and Strategic Planning, for the Center's Building Wealth and Health Network. Starting at The Network in the coach role, she is now excited to lead the Network team as a Co-Director and also continue coaching. As a coach she provides a trauma-informed anti-oppressive approach to the Network's Financial SELF Empowerment sessions. She previously facilitated experiential learning and political consciousness with youth at the Freire Charter High School and later coordinated and built youth programming with the University Community Collaborative at Temple. In this time, she was trained to lead Transformational Social Therapy groups, a model that urges people across identities to share personal violences, hopes, and fears in order to reach collective intelligence and solutions. This work led her to pursue a clinical social work degree at Bryn Mawr's Graduate School for Social Work and Social Research where she studied the psychological effects of oppression as a counseling intern at Women Organized Against Rape. Alie also loves to backpack on the Appalachian Trail, cook with friends, and make songs.

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Keith Lee

Keith Lee, CLU, ChFC, serves as a Per Diem Facilitator for the Building Wealth and Health Network and is a financial expert with two decades in the financial services industry. Over the years he has developed curriculum and taught courses in personal and spiritual personal growth and development and has taught pre-licensing courses in the insurance industry. He is a graduate of The American College of Financial Services in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

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Michael Moody

Michael Moody is the Operations Manager for the Center's Building Wealth and Health Network. In his role, Mike acts as a conduit between Network members and staff, various community organizations or partners and the Philadelphia county assistance offices. He spent six years working in the healthcare industry after which he transitioned into the non-profit sector, working as the Business Marketing and Community Relations Developer for the African People's Education & Defense Fund for two years. Michael has a deep and unapologetic passion for combating social, racial and gender disparities and is particularly interested in the intersection between segregation and long term health outcomes. He has made it his life mission to advocate for oppressed groups and those who feel voiceless. Mike graduated from Temple University with his B.A. in Geography and Urban Studies, concentrating on Community Development. During his spare time Mike plays on a dodge ball league, volunteers with various organizations such as BlackStar Film Festival and Philly Urban Creators and loves to dance.

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Sherita Mouzon

Sherita Mouzon is member of Witnesses to Hunger who currently lives in Philadelphia, PA. As a founding member of Witnesses to Hunger, Sherita is a seasoned advocate whose activism explores issues of mental health, addiction, youth development, healthcare, poverty, and housing in Philadelphia. As a member of Witnesses, Sherita was a leader in the movement to introduce the Sanctuary Model as the program's foundation of practice, and her commitment to bettering trauma-informed care extends into her professional career working in human services at the Salvation Army, St. Christopher's and as a Certified Recovery Specialist. Her writing and activism has been featured in TalkPoverty, DrexelNow and elsewhere.

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Brittany Nelson

Brittany Nelson serves as a Financial Empowerment Coach for the Building Wealth and Health Network. She is a former Network member from cohort 36 and the first Network member to be hired by the Center. She looks forward to many other Network members joining her on the team in the future.

Brittany has been a licensed life and health insurance agent for two years and has helped many families and children become financially secure for their future. She teaches the importance of proper financial planning for now and the future. She is a mother of three and credit repair is her specialty. She enjoys using her voice and experience to help others, in hopes that as many people as possible can overcome the obstacles preventing them from reaching their goals.

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Natalie Shaak

Natalie Shaak, MS, joined the Center in 2019 and serves as Operations Manager. In her role, Natalie supports the Center's programs through communication and business operations. She oversees the Center's website and social media, supports central office administration, and assists the executive and deputy directors in strategic planning, grant writing, and Center operations. Natalie holds bachelor's degrees in English from Millersville University and culinary arts and science from Drexel University as well as  master's degrees in educational psychology/counseling from West Chester University and publication management from Drexel University. Natalie has worked in the restaurant industry and previously held professional staff roles in communication with Drexel Student Life and the LeBow College of Business and served fraternity and sorority communities at Drexel, West Chester, and Washington State Universities. She also serves as chair of the Staff Coordinating Committee for Dornsife School of Public Health and is a member of the Dornsife School Council. In her free time, Natalie enjoys gardening, volunteering with the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), collecting cookbooks, and reading. Natalie is passionate about historic preservation, restaurant worker rights, mental health, and food waste reduction.

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Jenay Smith

Jenay Smith, MSS, LMSW, is the Life Skills Development Trainer for the Building Wealth and Health Network. Jenay is a graduate of Bryn Mawr's Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research (GSSWSR) with a concentration in Community, Practice, Policy and Advocacy. At the Network Jenay is part of a training team developing onboarding material and training Network staff. In the classroom she is a SELF coach facilitating lessons and conducting one on one support with members after class. Jenay supports with grant research and implementation for the Network. During her time at Bryn Mawr, Jenay served as the president of Macro Social Work Student Network, was the student representative on the strategic planning committee and was selected by the Dean to serve as a Graduate Assistant for a national Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work. Jenay was also asked to participate in a panel for the Policy Practice Summit, hosted by the National Association for Social Workers, about social work education and its attention or inattention to policy. Upon graduation Jenay received the 2017 McPherson Award for excellence and service to the GSSWSR community.

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Raheem Stevenson

Raheem Stevenson, joined the Center in 2021 and serves as a Financial Empowerment Coach for the Building Wealth and Health Network. In this role, he facilitates financial SELF empowerment sessions and offers one-on-one coaching for members looking to build financial security and meet their goals. A native of Philadelphia, Raheem has over 12 years of extensive financial sales and management experience in numerous positions including financial planner, senior financial specialist, financial sales leader, district manager, and private banker. In 2009, he began the second phase of his professional career and opened his own business. Raheem is an alumnus of Virginia State University and a former varsity athlete who received athletic and academic honors from his alma mater. Raheem is truly involved in his community, serving as an ordained deacon and ministry leader at the Four Corner Crusade for Life Community Church and President of Peoples Unified Resource Center, an organization focused on the advancement and education of the African American community. Raheem volunteers with Big Brother and Big Sisters of Philadelphia and serves as a varsity football coach. He is a proud member of the Urban Financial Services Coalition and a dedicated father of three.

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Kevin Thomas Jr.

Kevin Thomas Jr., MPP, works with the Building Wealth and Health Network as the Associate Director of Operations and Asset Building. His primary role is to manage the day-to-day Network activities and staff, as well as develop the program and its capacity. Kevin is responsible for facilitating Financial SELF Empowerment sessions for the Networks members, but he also works with the Network team to develop new coaches and expand its footprint. Prior to joining the Center, Kevin was a highly decorated banker, working with industry giants PNC Financial Services and Commerce Bankcorp. He was also a recognized community advocate in the North and West Philadelphia sections of city. Kevin received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from St. Joseph's University and attained his Masters in Public Policy at Drexel.