Drayton Valley is a community located 133 km southwest of Edmonton in central Alberta and consist of approximately 7,000 people.Known for its vast oil fields, the Town of Drayton Valley relies economically on oil and gas extraction/production. The town development plan shows a community experiencing rapid growth prior to the decline in oil prices, with efforts now underway to diversify the economy through initiatives such as the establishment of the Clean Energy Technology Centre. Despite these efforts, educators and mental health professionals report higher than the national average rates of anxiety and depression and three-fold increase in the caseloads of family support workers.In the past, the municipality of Drayton Valley have made efforts to support young people’s resilience through social policies related to housing and education, family supports such as subsidized daycare spaces (to encourage young families to relocate to the community), industry hiring practices that engage young workers locally, family supports to deal with the pressures of demanding jobs and absent parents, and community development strategies that address social problems like substance abuse among young transient workers. Drayton Valley Municipal Council has been working for several years to create a more sustainable economy in response to boom-bust cycles in the oil and gas sector.

Site Research Team

Site Research Coordinator

Leah Crowell

Leah Crowell

Drayton Valley Site Coordinator

Leah completed her bachelors in Child & Youth Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University and masters in Sociology at Dalhousie University. She has worked with young people for the past 15 years and is passionate about the need for trauma informed approaches and meaningful and proactive services, supports, and programs to assist in the healthy development of resilient children, youth, and young adults. 

While studying she worked as a part time teaching assistant, research assistant, and educational program assistant. Prior to joining the RYSE project team Leah worked on two research projects that examined different aspects / impacts of young people involved with the criminal justice system.  Previous to working with young people Leah managed the daily operations of two entrepreneurial projects, and was also a manager in technical support and training roles.  Leah is a regular volunteer in Nova Scotia’s Restorative Justice program, as a Board Member and as an active participant in restorative justices circles, and co-founder and volunteer of MOMS Halifax, a support group for family members of incarcerated persons. Her research interests include: social and emotional development, fostering resiliency, relational and restorative practices in CYS, the developmental needs of youth and young adults, the impact societal attitudes, social environments, and social relationships have on developing youth and young adults, and the influence technology and social media has on young peoples’ developing social and emotional health. 

Local Advisory Committee

Pat Jeffries

Pat Jeffries

Local Advisor
Lola Strand

Lola Strand

District FCSS Director

Lola Strand, has worked with Drayton Valley and District FCSS for the past 11 years. She holds a Diploma in Social Work and a Degree in Human Service Administration from Grant MacEwan University. Born and raised in Drayton Valley, Lola has a deep passion for her community and the resiliency of its residents. She loves rallying the troops around community issues has initiated many successful community development projects.

Jessica Doucette

Jessica Doucette

Alberta Health Service

Jessica Doucette is a RN by trade and has been a School and Community Health Facilitator for the past 14 years. She serves WRSD and the communities of Brazeau County, Drayton Valley and Breton. She loves both her jobs and works hard to promote wellness, safety and relationships in her schools and communities. She is a busy mom to 2 daughters and 2 step sons, loves theatre and nature.

Alan Barker

Alan Barker

Oil & Gas

Alan has worked in the oil and gas industry for the past 25 years while having also been involved in community services for the past 15 years. He serves on the Breton Village Council, Community Scholarship Foundation, FCSS Board and the Drayton Valley Oil Men’s Association.

Dana Sharp-Mclean

Dana Sharp-Mclean

Addiction Services

My interest is reducing barriers (including stigma) and strengthening youth and families in their communities.  I am a Social Worker in Addiction & Mental Health and enjoy working with youth and their families.

Russ Hickman

Russ Hickman

Wild Rose School Division

I am the chair of Wild Rose School Division board of trustees. My interest is in improving the life chances of our students and youth.  I also serve on the board of the Pembina Crisis Connection Society and volunteer for the Eleanor Pickup Arts Centre and Drayton Valley Historical Society. I am a retired teacher and was active in my professional association locally and provincially.

Youth Advisory Committee

Sarah Jane Peltier

Sarah Jane Peltier

Youth Advisor

Sarah Jane Peltier, RYSE Drayton Valley Youth Advisor,  grew up in rural Brazeau County with a love for everything in nature. As a young adult, in Drayton Valley she enjoys a passion for creativity and arts. You can usually find her checking out the local Farmer’s Market or the free art programs hosted at the municipal Library.

Lacey Sicinsky

Lacey Sicinsky

Youth Advisor

For having been born and raised in Drayton Valley, Alberta for more than 23 years, I have made many interpersonal connections through-out my lifetime which has influenced my potential in thriving to obtaining my Bachelors of Criminal Justice through Mount Royal University. My name is Lacey Sicinsky, I envision myself becoming a Data Analyst after my studies, and plan on working with the focus of resilience as a RYSE Advisor for the next 5 years.

Chaise Combs

Chaise Combs

Youth Advisor

My name is Chaise Combs. I was born and raised in Drayton Valley, Alberta. Currently, I live in Red Deer (AB) and attend the local college where I serve as the Vice President Student Life at the school’s Students’ Association. I self identify as an addict and have used community engagement/service as a catalyst in my recovery. I believe very much in the RYSE project and am lucky enough to have been involved with it from the grant writing phase. There is nothing more exciting than being able to give back to my community. I look forward to doing so in whatever capacity I can going forward.

Local Supporting Partners

Azzo Consulting