Jes Ward

Jes Ward

Executive Director


cityWILD

Denver, CO USA


Perfect means getting to where you want to be, not to where everyone else says you should be.

Videos

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Jes Ward

Highlight
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01:30
Jes Ward HighlightInterview Highlight
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05:58
InterviewThe Interview
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00:49
Scouting The RapidWeb Exclusive
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00:36
PerfectionWeb Exclusive
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01:31
How To Treat Young PeopleWeb Exclusive
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01:07
DevelopmentWeb Exclusive
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01:14
Therapists and MentorsWeb Exclusive
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Success Through ConnectionsWeb Exclusive
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Four WallsInterview Excerpt
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RapidsInterview Excerpt
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Milestones

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
Her mother was a teen mom who struggled to raise her six children.
Eventually, Jes realized she needed to forge a better path for her younger siblings, so she moved in with her grandmother.
She chose to do a year of Americorps instead of going directly to college.
Ended up working for an organization called PeaceJam for 13 years.
Her job started to feel too corporate, and she wanted to get back to her hometown of Denver, Colorado and work directly with students.
She took a job at CityWILD, a Denver nonprofit that "uses the lens of nature to teach leadership and self-empowerment."
One of the activities CityWILD does with at-risk youth is whitewater rafting; they teach kids to "scout rapids" both in the water and in their lives.
Believes one of the best things about nature is that it isn't about perfection-it's about the appreciation of diversity.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Business/Corporate Communications
University of Denver
Career

Career

Executive Director

I direct our youth development programs where we bring outdoor experiential education to a broad, inclusive audience.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Education
Education
Non-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Teaching / Mentoring
Teaching / Mentoring

Day to Day

I build infrastructure necessary to help cityWILD achieve their mission of engaging diverse youth in personal development, community engagement, and connection to the outdoors. I use the lens of the outdoors and nature to teach leadership skills and self-empowerment.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Reinforce positive messages about yourself and limit the negative self-talk that can pull you down. Surround yourself by people that care about you and will support you when things get rough; mentors, therapists, counselors, teachers, etc.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Volunteer and help out your community whenever you can.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Business/Corporate Communications
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I can't do it. I'm not perfect."

Don't set your bar at the top, set it where you want to go, get there, and then figure out where you want to go next. Perfection is getting where you want to be, not where everyone tells you to be.

Challenges I Overcame

Drugs / Addiction
Drugs / Addiction

My mom was a teen mom, she was 17 when she had me. She struggled quite a bit with alcohol, with depression, with addiction.

First-Generation College Student
First-Generation College Student

I'm the first in my family to go to college. My mom was a teen parent who struggled to raise me and my siblings and never had the opportunity to finish school.

Financial
Financial

Due to my moms problems, I was mostly homeless until I was about 12 years old.