Class of 2021
Vice President and Director of First Nations at Arts Council Wood Buffalo, Jes Croucher is an active volunteer in the community.
Living by the words, “Success can be measured by how much you give away,” she recently sat down with YMM and chatted about her volunteer work, what motivates her, and the rewarding parts of her career.
YMM: Tell us about your volunteer work in the community.
JC: I am a Director at United Way Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, I volunteer for Elder meal delivery at Nistawoyou Association Friendship Centre, and am part of the ATC Cultural Festival Planning Committee, as well as the MMIWG2S+ and Orange Shirt Day Event Committees. I also volunteer at the Wood Buffalo Food Bank Annual Christmas Food Drive, and support Indigenous-led initiatives in the community.
YMM: Who is your hero?
JC: My heroes are all the strong Indigenous women who blazed the trail before me – my grandmothers, my mother, my aunties, my mentors and my friends. Our generation is standing on the shoulders of giants looking out at a new tomorrow that is rooted in love.
YMM: What motivates you?
JC: My ancestors guide me to stay true to my roots. My family and community inspire me to keep going. My children and descendants motivate me to ensure it is meaningful for the future.
YMM: What is the most rewarding part of your career?
JC: Connecting Indigenous peoples with their culture. Creating safe space to learn for non-Indigenous peoples.
YMM: How have your priorities changed in the last 10 years?
JC: My perspective has moved beyond only supporting my family but into community.
YMM: How should success be measured?
JC: Success can be measured by how much you give away. Hold space for the value of your time, your voice and your heart.