Class of 2022
Michelle is an absolute rock star of a volunteer, and never one to back down from a challenge. Few are better at keeping organized and ensuring a successful event.
She is a Senior Project Advisor with Suncor Energy Inc., and loves using her free time to do cool projects for the community. Michelle recently sat down with YMM and shared about advice, risks, and more.
YMM: What keeps you in Fort McMurray?
ML: Originally, it was the opportunity to build the kind of life we wanted; then, it was the opportunities for our son as a child raised in Fort McMurray. And now, so many years later, it’s a sense of “being home” and an attachment to the growth, joy and hurt, togetherness and dreams for our community’s future.
YMM: In your opinion, in what areas does Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo need improvement?
ML: This leads to the next question about community, but I think we need to be more unified in the story we’re telling the rest of Canada. The entire time I’ve lived here, we’ve talked about wanting to challenge the narrative that exists about the city and the region, but efforts always seem to fall just short of actually making a difference. We have so many incredible stories to tell.
YMM: What does community mean to you?
ML: For me, community is togetherness; we celebrate together, we hurt together, and we care about each other. And we do that whether the cameras are on or not. Support local, volunteer, be politically active and get to know your neighbours. Those things help people feel connected and build that “sense of community” that people need.
YMM: What motivates you?
ML: I want to know I have contributed to making the world a little bit better. It doesn’t have to be on scales of magnitude, or written about in history. Just little contributions to kindness, or solving problems, or making someone feel seen.
YMM: For what are you most grateful?
ML: The support network around me, my family and friends. That no matter what I’m doing, or saying, or trying, whether I’m succeeding or failing, they are always shoring me up or giving me a soft place to land.
YMM: What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
ML: I am a risk taker at my core, so while I’m tempered by a risk-averse partner, I am forever gambling with the decisions that I make. If it doesn’t scare me, it’s not worth doing. In recent history, it was probably leaving my job to go back to school full-time and then randomly taking a job in Mwanza, Tanzania, or maybe entering politics. Either way, this goes back to what I’m grateful for. I never have to fear failure.