Cheryll Watson

Our Building Stronger Futures Capital Campaign Chair, Cheryll Watson has a history of leadership and is committed to making positive changes in her community. What can we learn from Cheryll as we embark on connecting the community to our Building Stronger Futures goals?

Q: Was there an event in your life that steered you towards being an advocate for better communities?

A: I grew up in the Beverly community raised by  my mom, herself a single parent. We were heavily reliant on neighbourhood programs and activities that were free or low cost because they provided our connections into the community and with some really important additional supports that we needed. What I learned from these experiences is that strong communities need champions.

Q: What core values do you think go into making a strong community?

A: I believe that communities need to be inclusive, caring and provide opportunities for people to make meaningful connections. People who form communities come from all walks of life and those backgrounds and experiences create strong diverse collectives of people who want to get involved. I’ve had the incredible opportunity to have had deep experiences in communities all around the world and I am proud to say Edmonton is unique in how deeply we care. The types of support and level of volunteerism that happen in our vibrant and active communities in Edmonton is exceptional. It’s this caring that creates trusted relationships and the opportunity to lift each other up.

Q: When talking about the teen parent families that we work with, what would you want all community members to understand?

A: The teen families we support they are still kids and there is an incredible amount of growth and evolution that takes place in a very short period of time. They come to Terra with their desire and hope to create great lives and secure futures for their families. I think about how my own mother’s experience, the shift of taking care of herself to suddenly focusing on two lives. I am grateful that Terra is here to help these young parents, answer their questions and help them work towards their stronger futures.