Yemaya St. Clair grew up in Gig Harbor, Washington, where she spent her childhood playing in Puget Sound and exploring the woods behind her house. During high school, she developed her love for outdoor recreation and education through an Outward Bound course and a National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) semester in Patagonia, Chile. During her 20s, she studied in Spain, led outdoor education trips in Colorado and California, and lived and worked in Costa Rica, where she taught English and led rainforest canopy tours at a national wildlife refuge. In 2004, she graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in environmental studies. She went on to manage the Student Conservation Association’s Seattle-based high school program for urban teens.
In addition to her work as an environmental educator, Yemaya has worked as a development manager for mental health agencies, a community mediator, and a freelance writer. She co-authored the AMC Guide to Winter Hiking and Camping and is currently writing the AMC’s Outdoors with Kids New England guidebook.
Yemaya lives in Portland, Maine with her husband, Lucas, and their two small children. Between walks to the park and the children’s museum, she is studying counseling at the University of Southern Maine. She currently serves on the board of directors of SPACE Gallery and the Quimby Family Foundation. Since moving to Maine in 2012, she has fallen in love with the state—its arts, environment, and people. She feels incredibly honored to help advance the mission of the Quimby Family Foundation.
Welcome to the Quimby Family Foundation! The foundation was formed in 2004 by Roxanne Quimby - an entrepreneur, environmentalist, and philanthropist with the vision to advance wilderness values and to increase access to the arts throughout Maine. In 2005, we began accepting proposals and awarding grants to Maine based nonprofits focused on the arts and the environment. In 2014, a decade after the foundation was created, we added Healthy Living as an additional funding priority, and in early 2016 we entered a planning period with the goal of refining our mission and grant making strategy. The Board of Directors is composed of Quimby family members spanning two generations and we recently added an Advisory Board with extended family and community members.
It is a great privilege for our family to be engaged in this work and to learn from visionary leaders across the state of Maine. We are inspired and encouraged by organizations that are working tirelessly to protect the health of the natural environment and its inhabitants. Our family considers the work of the foundation as one of our greatest opportunities and responsibilities and we look forward to working with visionary organizations for years to come!
We envision thriving Maine communities empowered by reciprocal relationships with nature. We see people connecting with, eating from, and ultimately caring for Maine's farms, woods, and waters.
To grow human wholeness by fostering stronger relationships between people and nature.
Human Wholeness: To us, human wholeness is physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health. We believe in the inherent value of nature to advance all four.
We strive to work collaboratively, guided by the following commitments:
- We respect our partners time and commit to being accessible and responsive
- We commit to a culture of learning for our board, staff, and partners
- We commit to reasoned risk taking and creative problem solving
- We commit to listening and we seek feedback from all directions to encourage open communication and to foster collaboration
- We commit to honesty & transparency
- We commit to steward the foundations resources with the utmost integrity and care as we advance the foundation's mission
We prioritize projects that contribute to our desired impacts and exemplify our values.
Projects that are driven by and responsive to needs within the community are more likely to be relevant, meaningful, and successful.
Further, projects that have been developed and/or implemented with input and active involvement from community stakeholders and target populations contribute to the community connection and empowerment we seek.
We prioritize projects that support human wholeness for underrepresented populations and geographic regions throughout the state of Maine.
We prioritize projects that support the health of people and the planet and recognize the symbiotic relationship between the two.
We prioritize projects that empower individuals and communities to take ownership of their health through preventative/proactive nutrition and outdoor recreation.