By Cari Kilmartin
Maven Boddy is part of Newo’s energy audit team, but also dabbles in video editing. She has a passion for the outdoors and enjoys helping people find connections to the places in which they live.
life story so far
Maven hails from an acreage near Forestburg, Alberta, where she grew up riding horses and spending time outdoors alongside the family’s chickens, bunnies, and even a pet pigeon at one point.
She was homeschooled for her whole childhood, which she says offered freedom and the space to explore her interests.
“I had lots of time to learn what I wanted to learn and learned to love learning; I really appreciate that.”
After finishing her high school education early, Maven took up travelling. Starting in B.C., she volunteered on a farm and learned about permaculture, then ventured out east, journeying across Canada to New Brunswick by van.
“I spent seven months in New Brunswick building a log cabin on my parents’ woodlot, which was a very cool experience. Living in the woods for seven months with no electricity, no running water, really makes you aware of the resources that you’re using: how much garbage you’re making, how much water you use on a weekly basis, and how much energy it takes to heat where you live when you have to cut every single piece of wood that you burn.”
Living off grid and using only a chainsaw, hammer and chisel, Maven loved working with her hands and connecting with the environment around her.
“I figured if I was going to take a gap year, I should do something that I couldn’t learn at university. It was really sweet, and I feel like I learned a lot of life skills,” she said, “and I just really enjoy being in nature.”
After spending time out east, she returned to Alberta and attended the U of A’s Augustana Campus in Camrose, where she earned her degree in economics.
University allowed Maven to continue travelling, this time to India. It was an eye opening experience for her; the wealth disparity and impacts of climate change there left a mark.
“Maybe our poverty is hidden better here, and maybe I’m desensitized to it here. But just seeing it in a different place with different symptoms was like, ‘Oh, this is crazy.’”
One of her biggest takeaways from that trip is the awareness young people in India have of the climate crisis, and the creative, outside-of-the-box thinking they apply to addressing it.
“India is a massive producer of carbon emissions, but so is Canada, and they have a lot less resources to put towards mitigating those emissions. In Canada, we have so much at our disposal. And there’s people in India who are working towards addressing the climate crisis. So why shouldn’t you?”
“I feel like I’m pulled in a lot of different directions with all my interests. I love nature and environmentalism, which is why I worked for the Battle River Watershed Alliance and why I’m drawn to work for organizations like Newo. But I also love adventure, outdoor sports and the tourism industry. I worked as a whitewater rafting guide for three summers, which was super fun. I love tourism and that whole industry.”
The list of Maven’s skills and interests is a long one; from white water rafting, canoeing, jiu jitsu, skiing and figure skating, to playing piano, knitting, smelting, unicycling, and fire breathing, it might be easier to list the things she doesn’t do.
Deeming her broad range of passions and values both a blessing and a curse, Maven benefits from Newo’s unique and flexible organizational culture and structure.
“I was drawn to a job where I would feel like I was making a difference, and I think Newo is exactly that,” she said. “One of the amazing things about Newo is that you can start off in one job position, but as your skills increase, or as your interests change or are refined or inspired by other things, it’s a very flexible place to adapt your work to what you’re passionate about, which is insane and amazing.”
rooted in people or place
When considering where she feels most at home, and whether that has more to do with the people or the land, Maven, showing her Albertan colours, said, “There’s something about the big sky that really resonates with me.” She continued, “I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily the people, because you’ll find your people no matter where you go, but there’s something about the prairies that just is very free.”
And while the prairies bring her a sense of freedom and familiarity, Maven’s sense of home and connectedness is not limited to big-sky country.
“I’ve lived on the East Coast, I’ve lived in the mountains, I lived in the prairies. There are cool people everywhere you go. I think I’ve put down roots in many places, and I feel very connected to lots of different places, and lots of different people.”