2013 Outstanding Young Alumna
At an age when many young people are more concerned with their social lives than social issues, Cristi Adams (GNT '10), a high school student, was working with teachers to develop an inclusive curriculum aimed at keeping her fellow Aboriginal students in school.
This brand of heightened social conscience and ambition has been a guiding force throughout Adam's young life. Since then, she has earned an honours diploma in Geomatics Engineering Technology at SAIT, presented a groundbreaking research project on the Haiti earthquake and advanced to a project manager position at TransCanada Corporation.
At the same time, Adams has contributed tirelessly toward the issues close to her heart. She serves as a site producer for a website that offers community advocacy and support to pregnant teens and young mothers, is a member of several municipal, federal and grassroots committees addressing issues of concern to Aboriginal communities, sits on TransCanada's Diversity Advisory Group and its Aboriginal and Native American Employee Network, all while raising two young boys.
Cristi Adams, Project Manager Launcher & Receiver Program, Canadian Gas Operations — Technical Services, TransCanada Pipelines Limited
"I attended SAIT full-time while I was working part-time and I had two kids. It was a lot of really hard work, but I graduated with honours. I don't think I slept in those two years! Winning the Alumni Award was amazing. I thought it was fantastic to be singled out. It's a wonderful community and it's something to be proud of. I have met so many great people within the alumni group. There's a lot of passion in the community.
In addition to my position at TransCanada, I'm an appointed advisor to Mayor Nenshi and city council on Indigenous issues in Calgary. Aboriginal people — with intergenerational trauma, the residential school system and other issues — face a lot more barriers to success. I was lucky in that I have a supportive family and system behind me, but others don't always have that. I do what I can, where I can, to make it a bit easier for other people.
At work, I'm the chair of the Indigenous Employee Resource Committee and I'm also a troop leader at Cubs. Activism and volunteerism are my hobbies. I'm fortunate to have a very supportive husband so we can have a pretty good balance of everything that's going on. I had another baby, a girl in April. I bring my three kids to my activities sometimes because it's important that they see how we can give back and be a part of the community."