Steamboat Living: 20 Under 40-Chayla Rowley
In her role as a civil engineer with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Routt County, Chayla Rowley, 27, enjoys the job’s variety.
“It changes with people’s needs,” she says. “One day I might help a rancher with irrigation and another I might work on stream bank protection.”
Rowley was born in Africa and spent most of her childhood there while her parents were missionaries. After earning her engineering degree from the University of Colorado, she moved to Steamboat three years ago, where she quickly found a strong interest in Steamboat’s young people through a church congregation.
“I emphasize finding a good church community,” she says. “It’s more about how they engage the community than their denomination.”
Rowley was drawn to United Methodist Church after learning the church needed volunteers to help in its nursery. Today, she shares a supervisory role there, with an uncomplicated approach to young children.
“My motivation is that we don’t necessarily spend time reading religious quotes to infants,” she says. “We need to just be present. They feel loved there, and we make sure we’re interactive.”
Rowley’s work with youngsters doesn’t end there. She met Nancy Mucklow through her membership in the Routt County Agriculture Alliance and with her encouragement is now a fourth grade Girl Scout troop leader. She has stuck with that group of girls as they verge on adolescence and takes pride watching them prepare for adulthood.
“Middle school is prime time for determining if they’ll become confident young women, or deal with things they didn’t learn earlier,” she says.
Her own upbringing (her father is of Choctaw descent) instilled the critical need for reliable sources of potable water for tribal peoples. While studying at the University of Colorado, she was awarded a scholarship from the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation supporting her ambition to create training programs and infrastructure to give tribal people better access to clean water. Ultimately, she believes that’s the direction her career will take.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Witches and goblins and ghosts, oh my!