27 Years Old
Class of 2020
“To me, success doesn’t always mean achieving goals. It means accomplishing what you have the capacity to do, and overcoming barriers that stand in your way.”
– Mitchel Bowers when asked how they define success.
For more than eight years, Mitchel Bowers has called Wood Buffalo home, and during that time, they have accomplished a lot.
As a Procurement Coordinator for Suncor, Mitchel says they basically fell into their career.
“While working on my business diploma at Keyano, I got a summer student position at one of the oil sands plants, and it opened my eyes to all of the opportunities in the region,” they share. “Since then, I’ve bounced around between sites and jobs, continuously developing my skills and gaining lots of on-the-job knowledge.”
Mitchel’s main hobby, Drag, has become a catalyst for much of their community involvement.
“As Simma (Downe), I have Story Time at the Library, and I have done outreach at many of the local schools. Speaking to GSA’s about LGBTQ+ history and issues, as well as teaching costume and drag makeup to aesthetic classes,” Mitchel says. “I have also made Drag a regular part of entertainment in this community where in the past it was rarely seen outside of Halloween. I created the LGBTQ+ Leadership awards, to showcase the incredible queer community we have here, and to recognize individuals that are working to make this community a better place to live.”
When reflecting on the legacy they hope to leave in the community, Mitchel says they hope their impact will be one of compassion and leadership. “I hope people will look to me as someone who has overcome great adversity and was a role model for being different. I hope my impact will help dispel the negative connotations that people have about our community and our industry,” they say.
Mitchel’s leadership is evident in their involvement with the Pride Committee, and as a Regional Advisory Committee on Inclusion, Diversity and Equality member. As well, Mitchel recently joined the Arts Council Board of Directors as their Metis representative.
“Most recently in this role I have led a working group to gather community feedback on Racism and Discrimination in the community,” says Mitchel. “We will be presenting a report to council with direct recommendations on what they can do to make the RMWB more equitable in the future.”